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Cyprus Peace Process Roundup

Friday, January 13, 2017  |   |  Tags:

Conference on Cyprus provides basis for further negotiation, says Anastasiades: “President Anastasiades has said that the decision to continue the Conference on Cyprus constitutes the beginning of a substantive dialogue for solution so that its outcome meets the expectations of the Cypriot people. Speaking at a press briefing in Geneva, Anastasiades noted that for the first time since 1974 the Turkish Cypriot side submitted a map on the territorial adjustments – through which there is a significant percentage of Turkish occupied land returned under Greek Cypriot administration.” [Famagusta Gazette]

Erdogan: Turkey in Cyprus ‘forever’: “We have told Cyprus and Greece clearly that they should not expect a solution without Turkey as guarantor. We are going to be there forever,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul after Friday prayers. Speaking a day after U.N.-hosted talks broke up in Geneva, Erdogan said it was out of the question for Turkish troops to pull out of Cyprus unless both sides pulled out. Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, striking a decidedly more genial tone prior to leaving Geneva, said future negotiations should “find the ways and means so that both communities of this beautiful island will feel safe and secure.” [Cyprus Mail]

There are high hopes for Cyprus reunification talks — even as they hit another impasse:  “Reunification talks have failed multiple times in the past. That long and contentious history leaves plenty of room for skepticism about this round. In 2004, an agreement was reached but voters in the south rejected it. That said, optimism is running higher than  ever  before. Should an accord be reached, both groups would then hold twin referendums in April or May. […]  Despite its complexity, the border issue isn’t as contentious as negotiations around the removal of Turkish troops and the prevention of renewed ethnic violence.” [The Washington Post]

Divided Cyprus’ leaders conclude ‘historic’ map exchange: “The rival leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus exchanged maps Wednesday outlining the zones the island’s Greek and Turkish communities would control in a hoped-for federation, the first time such a swap has occurred after decades of reunification talks. The maps now have been locked in a United Nations vault due to the sensitive nature of the proposed boundaries, which indicate how many people displaced by the nation’s division may be eligible to reclaim lost homes and property relatively quickly.” [Associated Press]

Greece should call Turkey’s bluff on Cyprus: “It is out of the question for Turkish soldiers to pull out completely, and we’ve discussed this before,” President Erdogan said. “If something like this is being considered, then both sides should pull their troops out of there.” OK, fine. Greece should have no problem removing the handful of troops it has on the island (reportedly around 1,000). It should offer to do so, and call Erdogan’s bluff. Will Erdogan stand by his words?” [HALC]

 

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@FionaMullenCY And ends in ZERO Turkish troops. But again, do you want to put odds on whether Ankara or Akinci are going to go for either?
@FionaMullenCY "New guarantee system" not at all comforting if #Turkey granted any right of intervention. Phased wi https://t.co/Ucc6gOyy7L
RT @CoachoGalani: @HellenicLeaders Vegas odds on refusing full withdrawal are "off the board." Turkey has never negotiated in good faith.