Cypriot and world leaders seek peace in Geneva

Cypriot and world leaders seek peace in Geneva

Negotiations on reunifying Cyprus continue in Geneva on Thursday, as disagreements over the island’s governance continue to frustrate attempts at

Photo: Katia Christodoulou

Photo: Katia Christodoulou

Negotiations on reunifying Cyprus continue in Geneva on Thursday, as disagreements over the island’s governance continue to frustrate attempts at settlement.

Following a Turkish invasion in 1974, Cyprus was divided into a Greek state in the south and a (smaller) Turkish state in the north. With little progress made during earlier meetings, it is unlikely that Thursday’s discussions will result in a deal.

Recent talks have made little progress; how the island should be governed if unified has emerged as a key sticking point. While the Turkish side insists that leadership should alternate between the two factions, Greek Cypriots oppose this proposal as undemocratic, saying it could infringe upon the voting rights of the majority Greek population.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras and Turkey’s President Erdogan have both indicated that they will not join the conference on Thursday, which may complicate negotiations. Considering Cyprus’ strategic importance as a global shipping hub, its proximity to Syria, and wealth of natural gas reserves, compromises will not be forthcoming.

While Thursday’s talks may lay the groundwork for future negotiations, they will almost certainly not succeed in resolving the deadlock entirely.