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Cyprus talks end without a reunification deal
© Jpatokal

Cyprus talks end without a reunification deal

07/07/17Defence

The latest talks attempting to reconcile Cyprus have ended without a deal.

The Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities have been split since conflict erupted in 1974. A United Nations (UN) neutral area separates the two sides.

A round of UN-backed talks in Switzerland, which began in January, were seen as the best opportunity to move towards a two-state federation.

However, despite some signs of progress, the negotiations reached a stalemate and as such were called off early today (7 July).

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters: “Despite the very strong commitment and engagement of all the delegations and the different parties … the Conference on Cyprus was closed without an agreement being reached.”

The admission came hours after he flew in to meet Greek-Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, and after US Vice-President Mike Pence had phoned the leaders urging them to “seize this historic opportunity”.

At the start of the talks, Guterres had said he was hopeful a deal was “very close”.

One of the main concerns was whether 30,000 Turkish troops could stay on after reunification.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said removing them was “out of the question” unless Greece committed to removing its 1,000 troops.

Another problem to the deal was the question over how to return property to tens of thousands of Cypriots who fled their homes when Turkey invaded the north of the island in 1974.

That invasion was in response to a military coup on the island which was supported by the Athens government.

The UK, Greece and Turkey currently maintain Cyprus’s security.