Monday

28th May 2018

Cyprus leaders ask UN support for unification

  • Leaders "committed to continuing and intensifying their efforts" (Photo: michael kirian)

Leaders of the two parts of Cyprus will meet the UN secretary general at the end of the month in a push to reach an agreement on the island's reunification.



After eight meetings in recent weeks, Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades and the leader of the Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus Mustafa Akinci said on Wednesday (14 September) they were "committed to continuing and intensifying their efforts".

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

They will meet Ban Ki-moon in New York on 25 September to report on the progress in negotiations and ask him to "intensify his personal engagement".

In a common statement read to journalists by UN envoy Espen Barth Eide, they said they are "cognisant of the remaining challenges" but are still aiming at "reaching a comprehensive agreement within 2016".

They said they have achieved "significant progress" in areas such as "governance and power-sharing, economy, the EU matters and property" but they recognised that "certain substantial divergences still remain."

Hopes of a settlement 42 years after Turkey invaded the island and created a Turkish entity (which no one but Turkey recognises) have been high since Anastasiades and Akinci said in January they would try to solve the issue this year.

"We need to get this done. Now," European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said in his state of the union speech also on Wednesday. He added that "Europe is a driving force that can help bring about the unification of Cyprus."

The remaining stumbling points of the negotiations are the chapters on security and the so-called guarantees, and on territory.

Since its independence in 1960, Cyprus' sovereignty is guaranted by the UK (the former colonial power), Greece, and Turkey.

The Greek and Turkish Cypriots said they "exchanged views and positions, in a brainstorming manner" but could not yet agree. They said they still hope to resolve these issues "in a mutually acceptable manner".

Greek Cypriots refuses that Turkey, an occupying power since 1974, keeps rights on a reunified island.

The funding of a reunification plan will also be discussed during the UN meeting.

Cyprus asks to make Turkish an EU language

Cyprus has asked the Dutch EU presidency to make Turkish an official EU language, in a “gesture” that could help reunification and improve EU-Turkey relations.

Interview

Cyprus seeks EU support on reunification

EU states should be "more vocal" with Turkey and play a more political role on reunification, Cyprus' EU ambassador told EUobserver.

'Crucial day' for Cyprus peace talks

Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders end five-days of negotiations in Switzerland that could pave the way for a reunification settlement later this year.

Cyprus leaders fail to agree territory deal

A two-day meeting between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders ended without an agreement on the map of a reunited island, casting doubt on a final settlement.

Analysis

Turkey holds key at last-ditch Cyprus talks

The Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders meet from Monday to Wednesday, before an multilateral conference on Thursday that could endorse a reunification settlement. Talks could still fail on Turkey's role.

Analysis

EU has no 'magic bullet' against US Iran sanctions

EU leaders in Sofia will discuss how they can protect the bloc's economic interests against US threats to sanction companies doing business in Iran. But their options are limited.

Opinion

Ratifying CETA after 'Achmea scandal' is anti-European

While few people in Europe have heard of the 'Achmea' ruling, the case will have far-reaching consequences. Member states must understand the implications of the case quickly - especially those considering ratifying the EU-Canada trade agreement.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman requests more lending transparency from European Investment Bank
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  3. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  4. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  5. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  6. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  8. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  12. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach