Cyprus peace talks end with optimism, but Turkey won't remove troops
Jan 14, 2017, 00:37
Talks to resolve the decades-old division of Cyprus ended without agreement yesterday (12 January) but with a plan for officials to reconvene on 18 January to tackle its thorny security question, before a fresh attempt to forge a political deal.
"The participants recognized that this is the time to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion", a United Nations statement said, alluding to years of failed efforts for a deal.
Erdogan said, "We have told Cyprus and Greece clearly that they should not expect a solution without Turkey as guarantor.
Erdogan went into some detail over the talks, attacking a rotating presidency for the central administration that would allow Turks one term for every four Greek turns.
Cyprus became divided in 1974 after a Turkish military invasion, caused by a coup conducted by the supporters of the island's unification with Greece.
Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has warned that there can be no deal without a full return of Morphou, while some in the Turkish Cypriot camp have declared its return a non-starter.
Cyprus peace deal is very close, said today the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
But he added that major work remained on how to implement and guarantee a lasting peace.
"You can not expect a miracle for immediate solution". However, he warned that the process of a reunifying Cyprus is not a "quick fix". "We are looking for a solid sustainable solution".
It is hoped enough progress is made so that Greek foreign minister Nikos Kotzias, Britain's Boris Johnson and Turkey's Mevlut Cavusoglu - along with Mr Anastasiades and Mr Akinci - can resume talks in Geneva.
"For the first time Turkey takes an active part in discussions regarding security issues and guarantees", Anastasiades added.
"They recognised that the security of one community can not come at the expense of the security of the other".
Top leaders from the European Union, which counts Cyprus as a member, are also expected to join the talks Thursday that will concentrate on how to ensure and who will oversee post-settlement security.
Turkey has a strong military presence in northern Cyprus.
An accord has eluded generations of diplomats and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies Greece and Turkey have come at times to the brink of war over Cyprus, a former British colony.
There were no plans for the maps swapped Wednesday to be disclosed publicly, with the United Nations hoping that both sides eventually agree on a compromise version.
A new power-sharing government looks set to be agreed, ending the partition between the Greek and Turkish sectors of the holiday island.
"Turkey will remain in Cyprus". On the Turkish Cypriot side, there are "a number of people that have been living their lives normally for generations.in exactly the same place, people who themselves might have been displaced in the south, who have established new lives". Only Turkey recognizes the separate Turkish Cypriot government.
Recent hydrocarbon discoveries off Cyprus's shores could help the European Union reduce its energy dependence on Russian Federation.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci maintained that one side is demanding other's removal from the island but it would rule out a mutually acceptable solution.
He is flanked by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci (left) and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades (right) in Geneva, Switzerland.
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