Earl and Countess of Wessex highlight UK-Cyprus ties

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The Earl and Countess of Wessex met with the president of Cyprus on Tuesday as part of a three-day visit to the former British colony to highlight close bilateral ties and meet at the United Nations Soldiers serving in the peacekeeping force and those stationed at two British military bases.

The Earl – the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth and her late husband Prince Philip – and his wife are received by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and his wife Andry at the Presidential Palace in the capital Nicosia .

Anastasiades is expected to discuss with the royal couple ways to strengthen ties between the UK and Cyprus, where thousands of British expats live and many more travel as a popular holiday destination.

The Cypriot president is also scheduled to discuss the government’s latest efforts to restart stalled talks aimed at reuniting the ethnically divided island nation.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup by supporters allied with Greece. Rounds of unification talks with the Turkish Cypriots – whose declaration of independence only Turkey recognizes – have failed.

The royal couple will also meet British peacekeepers in a UN buffer zone across the Cyprus capital. The Countess will speak to women and young people working to support peace efforts.

The Earl and Countess will hear about the current operations of British troops stationed at two military bases retained by the UK after Cyprus gained independence in 1960.

Source link