Renewed Cyprus talks about reunification enter crucial phase

  • Tomáš Krajňák
  • 29.6.2017 17:58

On 28 June, the leaders from both parts of the divided Cyprus have arrived for the UN-brokered peace talks in the Swiss Alps to discuss possible reunification of the island after more than 40 years. The negotiations are scheduled to last until 7 July and some perceive them as the last chance for a settlement.

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will negotiate in the presence of foreign ministers from the three guarantor powers – UK, Greece and Turkey. The UN mediator, Espen Barth Eide, said there had been a significant exchange of ideas since the previous round of talks and expressed his conviction that a comprehensive agreement could be reached this time. However, the second-best outcome would be a breakthrough on key issues, confirming shared intent to reunify the island, and in that case, a final agreement will require more talks in Cyprus. The UN has taken the unprecedented step of suggesting it will end the island’s peacekeeping mission, UNFICYP, if talks collapse again. Consequently, the talks began on the complex and divisive issue of security. The ultimate goal is to unite Cyprus in a federation and hopefully to reveal the future of Europe's relations with Turkey. Any deal would be put to a referendum in both Cypriot communities later this year.

About author: Tomáš Krajňák

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