UN worried Turkey coup bid could hit Cyprus talks
The United Nations said on July 21 that it was concerned the failed coup attempt in Turkey could dampen prospects for Cyprus’ peace process aimed at reunifying the divided Mediterranean island.
U.N. envoy Espen Barth Eide said however there was no evidence that Ankara had changed its supportive position on the Cyprus negotiations in the wake of the failed coup attempt.
“We have all been rather concerned about the recent developments in Turkey,” Eide told reporters after meeting Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on July 21, according to AFP.
“I think there is a shared understanding that this is yet another example of the international environment not always developing in a favorable mood.”
Eide said his team was monitoring events in Turkey closely.
“There is no sign as of right now that there is any change in the Turkish government’s position, which is consistently supportive of the talks,” the Norwegian diplomat said.
During the 42nd anniversary of the Turkish military intervention on the island on July 20, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş said that as a country they reiterated their support for the peace talks in Cyprus.
“The Cyprus issue, which should guarantee the political equality, legitimate rights and security of the Cypriot Turks, and which we see as a national case, continues to be our priority,” said Türkeş during the July 20 Peace and Freedom celebrations in Nicosia, five days after a coup attempt aimed at toppling the Turkish government failed.
On July 20, 1974, the Turkish military intervened in the island through airborne and seaborne operations, in response to an Athens-backed coup aiming to unite Cyprus with Greece five days before.
Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı held on July 22 another session of peace negotiations, which were relaunched in May 2015 after the latter was elected as the new leader of Turkish Cyprus.
Akıncı said most of the topics regarding the legislative and jurisdiction chapters had been finalized, while there needed more work to be done on the executive chapter, though progress had been achieved.
“It is obvious that this [the rotation of the presidency of the federal republic to be founded after the negotiations reach a final with a peace deal] is a topic that we need to wait for it to be solved in the further stages of the process,” said Akıncı after the meeting with Anastasiades, Eide and Elizabeth Spehar, the special representative and head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).
Both sides have expressed the hope that a long elusive settlement can be reached this year.