Greek foreign minister visits Cyprus amid stalling unification talks

Greek foreign minister visits Cyprus amid stalling unification talks

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias arrives in Cyprus today after reunification talks between the Greek south and Turkish north collapsed earlier this

Photo: AP Photo/Petros Karadjias

Photo: AP Photo/Petros Karadjias

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias arrives in Cyprus today after reunification talks between the Greek south and Turkish north collapsed earlier this month. He will meet with Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to discuss a way forward.

At first, the UN-hosted talks—including both Cypriot factions as well as the three “guarantors” Greece, Turkey and the UK,—held promise, with agreement in sight on issues like the federal structure of a united Cyprus. But disagreements over the removal of 30,000 Turkish troops from the north could not be resolved, and the parties walked away from the table.

Greek-Turkish divisions are not the only ones at hand. Kotzias has accused the UN mediator, Espen Barth Eide, of attempting to divide the Greek and Cypriot teams and telling “multiple lies”. Bad blood between Athens and the UN could hinder restarting talks.

Despite the latest hiccups, all sides want a resolution; both Anastasiades and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart were elected on unification platforms. Look to today’s visit for signs of how they may try to pick up the pieces and start afresh.