By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
After just a little over two years as head of his government’s chancellery in Mexico, Cypriot Ambassador Homer Mavrommatis will be heading off to Egypt later this month, but before leaving, he hosted a national day reception at his Lomas de Chapultepec residence to mark his country’s 59th independence anniversary.
During his time in Mexico, Mavrommatis focused heavily on boosting bilateral cultural exchanges, signing a multifaceted two-way cultural cooperation accord late last year.
Mexico and Cyprus first established formal diplomatic relations in 1974, and Mexico was the site of that European nation’s first resident embassy in Latin America.
In 1960, Cyprus became an independent republic, but ethnic and social tensions between the Greek and Turkish communities eventually led to a political division when Ankara sent troops to occupy the northern half of the region in 1974 in blatant violation of the fledgling nation’s founding charter.
Despite years of diplomatic mediation by UN peace negotiators, reunification talks between the two sides have remained essentially deadlocked since the early 1980s, and Turkey has obstinately refused to budge on its steadfast insistence that the north be considered as a separate state.