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Property issue could scupper Cyprus talks

26 October 2015

The thorny issue of property threatens to undermine the Cyprus negotiations, if no compromise if found.

On Monday, Greek Cypriot daily ‘Phileleftheros’ reported that if no headway is made on the topic, then that would have a knock on effect on other issues such as territory and the issue of Turkish settlers, all of which are directly linked. The talks could hit a brick wall, the newspaper writes.

The report goes on to say that top officials at the UN and Special Envoy to Cyprus Espen Barth Eide are worried.

When President Anastasiades meets with President Akinci on Friday, the property issue will be at the top of the agenda.

Chief negotiators Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami had managed to make some progress in negotiations ever since Mustafa Akinci was elected Turkish Cypriot as president earlier this year. The two men apparently have formed a friendship, which subsequently had an immensely positive effect on relations between the two communities.

However, both sides remain deadlocked over issues such as legal property owners, users, governance, the status of Turkish settlers and territories.

The two negotiators have been working hard to find common ground over the issue of properties backed by other officials offering ideas and suggestions to try and find a compromise. Both men are meeting again today.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to arrive in Cyprus on 14th November, with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arriving on 17th November. Phillip Hammond, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, will then arrive two days later.

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