Greek, Turkish Cypriots link arms across border for peace

Elizabeth Williams
May 27, 2017

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

"Without a prospect for common ground, there is no basis for continuing this shuttle diplomacy", he added.

According to Eide, after their meeting on May 17, he has been engaged in shuttle diplomacy between President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and President of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Mustafa Akinci aimed at determining the modalities by which the outstanding issues could be finalized during the next talks in Geneva.

The island was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

He said: "Unfortunately, despite serious efforts to overcome their differences regarding the modalities for meeting in Geneva, the leaders were unable to find common ground".

It had been hoped that a second global peace conference would be convened in Geneva in the coming weeks to finalise the details of the differences still outstanding.

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) - A United Nations envoy called off talks with the rival leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus on Friday after failing to find "common ground" on convening a final summit to aim for an overall reunification deal, but the U.N. said the years-long peace process had not collapsed.

U.N. Cyprus adviser Espen Barth Eide is due to inform Secretary-General Antonio Guterres later on Friday and seek his advice on how to move forward.

He said that the process had always been led by Anastasiades and Akinci who made the decisions.

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The Greek Cypriot leader wanted Geneva to focus on post-solution security arrangements while Akinci wanted issues of power sharing at the fore.

The UN, which also maintains a peacekeeping force on the island, was at pains to put on a courageous face insisting there was still hope.

The government's drive to explore for offshore oil and gas has also clouded the negotiations, with Ankara calling for it to be halted until a settlement has been reached.

"It was told us as of today that insisting on preconditions is an official approach of the Greek side".

"We need to hear from them how they see the way forward", the United Nations spokesman said.

Anastasiades said on Friday he was "saddened" by the development, and that Akinci had rejected a meeting for Monday proposed by Eide that he had agreed to.

The minority Turkish Cypriots said the troops are their only security guarantee.

Dozens of Greek and Turkish Cypriots have linked arms across a United Nations -controlled buffer zone cutting across ethnically divided Cyprus' capital of Nicosia to voice their support for a reunification agreement.

Other reports by VgToday

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