Saturday

21st Oct 2017

Cyprus leaders fail to agree territory deal

  • Limassol harbour. Greek and Turksih Cypriot leaders failed to agree on how much territory each community will administrate. (Photo: Martin Wippel)

Talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders ended without an agreement on Monday evening (21 November), casting doubt over the island's reunification process.

Cyprus president Nicos Anastasiades and the leader of the Turkish occupied part of the island Mustafa Akinci were trying to agree on the map of a future federal Cyprus.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.



But after a two-day meeting in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, backed by UN Cyprus envoy Espen Barth Eide, the two leaders failed to agree on criteria to draw the map.

“Despite their best efforts, they have not been able to achieve the necessary further convergences on criteria for territorial adjustment that would have paved the way for the last phase of the talks,” the UN said in a statement.

“The two sides have decided to return to Cyprus and reflect on the way forward,” it added, suggesting that the peace process may have reached a dead end.

Anastasiades and Akinci started talks earlier this year with the aim of reaching a settlement before the end of the year.

They have met several times a month since the end of summer, including during a five-day session in early November, to escape the local pressure, and have so far managed to keep a momentum despite difficulties.

But talks have now reached crucial issues like how much territory will be under the authority of the Creek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, how many Greeks will be allowed to go back to the Turkish part, and how much coastline each entity will have.

The Turkish Cypriot side has proposed to keep 29.2 percent of the island's territory, while the Greek Cypriots have proposed 28 percent, with discussions blocking over some towns and villages along the future limit.

The northern part of the island, occupied by Turkey since 1974, currently represents some 36 percent of the territory.

In a Turkish-language tweet reported by Cypriot media, Akinci’s office accused the Greek Cypriot side of "maximalist" positions.

An agreement on the map of the future federal Cyprus would have paved the way for an international conference to close a settlement deal with Cyprus's guarantors - the UK, Greece and Turkey.

The three countries are the guarantors of the island's sovereignty since it became independent in 1960.

Cyprus, supported by Greece, wants to scrap that status while the Turkish Cypriot side insists to keep Turkey as a protecting power. Turkey used its guarantor status to invade the island and keep 40,000 troops in the northern part.


Turkey's position towards the peace process has so far been a big unknown, especially since last July's failed coup has hardened president Erdogan's power and led to a massive purge in the Turkish army.

Cypriot media also reported that Greek, Turkish and Cypriot authorities had many phone calls during the talks in Switzerland. And on Monday, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras proposed to meet Recep Tayyip Erdogan to talk about the guarantee system and unblock the blocking points in the negotiations.

No new meeting is set at the moment. UN envoy Eide said he would “bring these developments to the attention" of UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon.

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.

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.

Investigation

The mysterious German behind Orban's Russian deals

Klaus Mangold, a German businessman with good connections in Russia, and who provided a jet for Commission vice-president Guenther Oettinger, played a crucial role in Hungary's controversial Paks nuclear deal with Russia, Direkt36's investigation has found.

Focus

Health MEPs want to phase out glyphosate by 2020

A committee resolution said the proposal to renew the glyphosate permit for a decade "fails to ensure a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment".

News in Brief

  1. Rajoy to trigger Article 155 on Saturday in Catalan crisis
  2. EU conducts unannounced inspection of German car firm
  3. Lithuania calls for new EU energy laws
  4. EU leaders aim for December for defence cooperation
  5. Juncker says hands tied on Russia pipeline
  6. Czechs set to elect billionaire Andrej Babis
  7. Italian regions hold referendums on more autonomy
  8. EU leaders refuse to mediate Catalonia conflict

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Friends of ArmeniaEU Engagement Could Contribute to Lasting Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  2. UNICEFViolence in Myanmar Driving up to 12,000 Rohingya Refugee Children Into Bangladesh Every Week
  3. European Jewish CongressEJC Applauds the Bulgarian Government for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  4. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  5. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  8. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  9. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  10. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  11. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  12. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People