Chief negotiators, Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami have a met three times this month, to prepare for a series of eight meetings between the two community leaders in September.
Mavroyiannis and Nami met under the auspices of Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) Elizabeth Spehar, who also serves as Deputy to the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide.
The Cyprus negotiations have reached a critical stage and in September outstanding issues on governance and property will be hashed out. They two leaders will also begin to address the most contentious chapters on territory and guarantees.
Neither side has shown any inclination to compromise on those two issues.
The Turkish Cypriots want to keep Turkey as guarantor, while the Greek Cypriots say that guarantees are outdated, that they should be scrapped as they have no place in a modern EU country.
The last time these topics were on the table was in 2004, which came before a referendum. The majority of Greek Cypriots voted against the proposals while most Turkish Cypriots voted in favour.
The Greek Cypriots are disappointed because there is no inclination in the North to return more land, such as Guzelyurt (Morphou). The Turkish Cypriots argue that land developments in the past ten years make it impossible to offer the same amount of territory as had been proposed in the Annan plan in 2004.
The two leader last met on 29th July, when they held a brainstorming session on the topics of territory and guarantees. The meeting was described as productive. The two sides reaffirmed their differences on the issues of guarantees and territory, but also their determination to address the problems that concerned both communities.