Tags: cyprus | reunification | talks | peace

Cyprus Reunification Talks 'Difficult, but Possible'

Image: Cyprus Reunification Talks 'Difficult, but Possible'

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades (C), is welcomed by Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva Michael Moller (L) and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide (R) upon his arrival Jan. 9, 2017 in Geneva. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 09 Jan 2017 02:31 PM

Cyprus reunification will be difficult, but not impossible, a United Nations envoy said during peace negotiations in Geneva on Monday.

Espen Barth Eide, a former Norwegian foreign minister, said the UN would only facilitate discussions between Greek and Turkish leaders of the island, which became divided after the 1974 Turkish invasion, Reuters reported. The invasion was triggered by a Greek-inspired coup.

“The leaders are showing a lot of courage, a lot of will,” Eide said at a news briefing, according to Reuters. “It’s going to be difficult but not impossible.”

“We are now in the final moment. We are now in the moment of truth,” Eides added.

The reunification talks come in the same week as a scheduled international conference on Cyprus, according to the World Bulletin.

Eide said the Thursday conference “will only be effective, if we are successful between the 9-11 January,” World Bulletin noted.

He added that the conference “will happen. That is not the question. But, the quality of 12 very much depends on the 9-11 discussions.”

According to a Turkish Cypriot official, the first day of reunification talks will focus on issues including governance, property, and security.

If no solution is reached, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci said the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus would continue on its way.

However, if an agreement is reached, then it will be put in a referendum for both Cypriot communities.

Thursday’s conference will be the first after more than four decades of division, according to The Guardian.

When asked if he was optimistic about a solution upon his arrival to the UN’s European headquarters on Monday morning, Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades said, “Ask me when we are finished.”

“This is the final phase of the final phase,” said Hubert Faustmann, a professor of history and political science at the University of Nicosia, per The Guardian. “It will be the first time since 1974 that Turkey and the Greek Cypriots will hold direct talks at the negotiating table.”

“It is a classical final stage of negotiation,” said Faustmann. “Issues that neither side could agree on and have been kept pending will now be interlinked.”

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Cyprus reunification will be difficult, but not impossible, a United Nations envoy said during peace negotiations in Geneva on Monday.
cyprus, reunification, talks, peace
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2017-31-09
Monday, 09 Jan 2017 02:31 PM
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