Cyprus peace talks to restart in Geneva after recess
NICOSIACyprus talks aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the more-than forty-year-old conflict of the eastern Mediterranean island are set to restart on Nov. 20 in Switzerland following a one week recess.
Intensified U.N. sponsored talks were held in Switzerland’s Mont Pelerin from Nov. 7 to 11, although there was no precise statement as expected at the end of the talks.
A brief U.N. statement at the end of the one-week-long negotiations on Nov. 11 said “significant progress has been achieved,” without giving any specifics. It added that Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades wanted to pause the talks for a week, and they were rescheduled to start on Nov. 20.
The two leaders, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı and Anastasiades, are set to meet once again in Mont Pelerin near the Geneva Lake on Nov. 20 under the auspices of the United Nations.
Speaking at the 33rd anniversary of the Turkish Cypriot state’s establishment on Nov. 15, Akıncı said it was time for a resolution on island.
“It is time the negotiations that have been ongoing for around half a century come to an end. We have neared a decision,” said Akıncı on Nov. 15, adding that negotiations could not continue like this for another 50 years.
The island was divided between a Greek south and a Turkish north when the Turkish military intervened in 1974 under the terms of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee in response to an Athens-backed coup aiming to unite the island with Greece.
The latest peace efforts to solve the conflict were launched in May 2015, after Akıncı’s election as the Turkish Cypriot community’s new leader.
On Nov. 17, Akıncı met with U.K.’s Ambassador to Ankara Richard Moore. The U.K. is one of the three guarantor countries of Cyprus, along with Turkey and Greece.
After holding talks in Athens with Anastasiades on Nov. 16, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the Cyprus negotiations had made considerable progress but there was still distance to cover before a final deal.