Cyprus peace talks a ‘last chance,’ Turkish foreign minister says
AA photoCurrent peace talks on reuniting the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus are a “last chance” and five-party negotiations that include Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom should start swiftly, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Nov. 13.
“We wish for the [peace talks] to swiftly turn into the quintet [conference] format and to successfully finalize this negotiations process, which is the last chance,” Çavuşoğlu said alongside visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Ankara on Nov. 13.
“As Turkey, we as always continue our constructive attitude on the issue,” he added.
Five days of U.N.-sponsored talks in Switzerland between Nov. 7 and Nov. 11 on ending the decades-old division of Cyprus have adjourned without a breakthrough, but negotiators vowed on Nov. 12 to press on for a deal this year.
A brief U.N. statement at the end of the one-week-long negotiations late on Nov. 11 said “significant progress has been achieved,” without giving any specifics. It added that the high-level talks would resume in Geneva on Nov. 20. The pause in the talks was demanded by Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.
Upon his arrival in Cyprus from Switzerland, Akıncı said late on Nov. 12 that peace talks would resume in Switzerland.
“I consider the idea that [talks] are over to be a pessimistic approach. Because this process is not over,” he told reporters.
He vowed that the Turkish Cypriots would continue with their “well-intentioned efforts.”
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops partially intervened in the north of the island in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece.