UN envoy abandons Cyprus talks, EU leads new push

  • Elisabeth Gheorghe
  • 10.8.2017 09:36

UN envoy Espen Barth Eide told reporters on 4 August that the UN will not resume the Cyprus talks as the island’s rival communities bear the responsibility to convey their aspiration of achieving a tangible long-term settlement. After talks failed in July, the UN Security Council unanimously prolonged its Cyprus peacekeeping force's (UNFICYP) mandate by six months on 31 July.

The extension coincides with the UNSC’s request to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to conduct a strategic review of the mission. Eager to extend a helping hand, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker addressed the island’s bi-communal leaders, saying that the European Commission supports a “European solution” to ease deadlock. A constructive dialogue on Cyprus between Greece and Turkey remains unlikely, particularly given their further disagreement over some uninhabited islands in the Aegean Sea, which was reignited earlier this year. Although Turkey plays a key role in EU migration policy, efforts to resolve the island's dispute while pursuing accession talks – which Athens and Berlin oppose – indicate the delicate position in which Brussels finds itself.

About author: Elisabeth Gheorghe

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