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Reunification of Cyprus appears elusive

19 October 2015

A report written for the UN General Congress in September says that the reunification of Cyprus appears elusive.

The author of the report, Vincent Morelli says that the election of Mustafa Akinci as TRNC President in April 2015 heralded a new era of optimism for the future of the Cyprus negotiations.

Akinci went on to declare that the talks would resume in May, with the aim of reaching a settlement by the end of the year. A referendum could then be held before the Greek Cypriot parliamentary elections in May 2016.

In a positive atmosphere, which included the establishment of confidence building measures, there has been an indication of real progress.

However, the two sides have been unable to find enough common ground on the problematic questions of territory, property, governance, security guarantees, and lately its resources, in order to find a permanent solution.

There is concern among many of the Greek Cypriot politicians that if a significant number of Turkish settlers were allowed to remain in the North, it would essentially recognise the already existing (de facto) TRNC.

There are fears that a federal government’s influence of over a constituent Turkish Cypriot state would be weak.

Younger Cypriots who have not interacted with the other side, may not feel that are sufficient benefits of a settlement to agree to the inevitable compromises that re-unification would demand.

The report concludes:

Despite the long period of stalemate and suspension in the negotiations between Anastasiades and Eroglu, many observers believe the election of Akinci in the north, and the positive nature of the early comments and progress made by both leaders regarding a possible solution since, will indeed allow the negotiations to refresh with a renewed sense of optimism that agreements can be reached. However, the compromises and concessions each side will still have to make in order to reach a final solution, at the moment, do not appear any closer to being achieved, and thus reaching that final elusive settlement will still not prove to be any easier.

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