Cyprus Peace Process Roundup

By Georgia Logothetis, HALC Managing Director

No timeframe for resumption of Cyprus conference: “Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency a day after the conclusion of the second leg of the conference on Cyprus, which started in Geneva last week at political level but continued this week at technocratic level, Christodoulides said the framework and ideas that came out of the working groups on Wednesday and Thursday “will be brought to the attention of each party’s leaders, at political level, and following assessment, decisions will be made for the resumption of the conference on Cyprus at political level”. Christodoulides said there is no timeframe with regard to coming to decisions on resuming the conference at political level.” [Cyprus Mail]

Greece, Cyprus: Turkish troop must leave: “Cyprus and Greece on Thursday insisted that any peace deal for the divided island must provide for the withdrawal of Turkish troops and new security arrangements. If Turkey and the island’s minority Turkish Cypriots want a solution, “there can neither be occupation troops nor guarantees”, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said after talks in Nicosia with his Cyprus counterpart Nicos Anastasiades, the Greek Cypriot leader.” [News24]

UN says working group successfully completed its mandate a day early: “Sources close to the talks said the experts from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teams would be returning from Mont Pelerin to brief their respective political leaderships. It’s understood that the so-called technical talks at the Swiss resort this week did not feature any give-and-take, with the parties merely recording their respective views on aspects of internal and external security, and implementation. This, taken in conjunction with the UN’s statement that the working group successfully completed its mandate, would indicate that the technical talks are over — at this stage at least.” [Cyprus Mail]

Abandoning Turkey’s guarantees on Cyprus ‘out of the question’, says Akinci: “Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci alleged that the continuation of Turkey’s guarantees in Cyprus is inevitable, reports BRT Television According to the channel, Akinci also stated that a settlement on the Cyprus problem will not be possible if the ‘Greek Cypriot side and Greece insists on zero troops and zero guarantees.’” [Famagusta Gazette]

Greek FM rejects blame game over Cyprus talks: “Asked about how fertile he thought the field was for an arrangement to emerge from the next meeting, Kotzias said: “I know that if someone wants a solution or not, this will be seen when the core of the problem is discussed. If someone does not want a solution, he may not allow the discussions to get to this point so as not to show his true intentions. We will reach this point and Turkey will have to show its real intentions. Does it want a solution or does it want a legitimate cover for its illegal acts?”” [euronews]

Reunifying Cyprus: “One glance at the map shows you the importance of Cyprus. The eastern Mediterranean island is less than half the size of New Jersey, but its spot at the crossroads of Europe and the Middle East made it much fought-over for centuries. Since 1974, it’s been split along ethnic lines between the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and in the south, the Republic of Cyprus. Only the Greek-speaking south is internationally recognized. A militarized buffer zone runs across the island and through the capital of Nicosia. Now the lure of riches from selling natural gas — combined with high-stakes geopolitics — has eased ancient enmities and fueled optimism that the latest talks on reunification could end the long-frozen conflict. A deal would free up trade and investment and serve as a beacon of hope in a region roiled by violence and ethnic divisions.” [Bloomberg]

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