Cyprus peace talks dead­locked

UN chief heads to Swiss re­sort to nudge ri­val sides closer as ex­pec­ta­tions of deal take a nose­dive

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

With talks at the Swiss re­sort of Crans-Mon­tana aimed at re­uni­fy­ing the di­vided is­land of Cyprus at an ap­par­ent im­passe, re­ports yes­ter­day said that pres­sure is grow­ing for lead­ers of the is­land’s three guar­an­tor pow­ers – Greece, Turkey and the United King­dom – to at­tend in a bid to break the dead­lock.

The re­turn to­day to Switzer­land of UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res is part of the bid to push ri­val sides closer to an agree­ment after ex­pec­ta­tions of a deal took a nose­dive on Tues­day, with Turkey in­sist­ing that it won’t sign any agree­ment in­volv­ing the with­drawal of all its troops from the is­land.

As spec­u­la­tion spread yes­ter­day that Prime Min­is­ters Alexis Tsipras, Bi­nali Yildirim and Theresa May would be head­ing to the Swiss re­sort on July 10, Athens re­mained adamant that their pres­ence at the talks would de­pend on the progress made.

Speak­ing to re­porters yes­ter­day, Cyprus Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades ac­knowl­edged that the talks are a stand­still, but in­sisted that the Greek side will per­se­vere with new pro­pos­als in or­der to break the dead­lock.

He also ap­pealed to the peo­ple of Cyprus to ig­nore spec­u­la­tion that the Greek side was about to com­pro­mise the pa­ram­e­ters for a so­lu­tion out­lined by the is­land na­tion’s coun­cil of party lead­ers in or­der to reach a set­tle­ment.

“What I ex­pect is that the other side [Turkey and Turk­ish Cypri­ots] will show the same good will so that we can pro­ceed and over­come the im­passe,” Anas­tasi­ades said, adding that the Turk­ish pro­pos­als have de­vi­ated from pa­ram­e­ters that Guter­res put to ne­go­ti­a­tion last week to nudge them for­ward.

He also warned against the cli­mate of op­ti­mism that was be­ing cul­ti­vated by some quar­ters.

Sources yes­ter­day said that de­spite claims to the con­trary, not much progress has been made in the talks.

Mean­while, May repeated her call for “flex­i­bil­ity by all sides” in a tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion she had yes­ter­day morn­ing with Tsipras.

Ac­cord­ing to the Cyprus News Agency, a Down­ing Street spokesper­son said: “The prime min­is­ter praised the con­struc­tive role that both par­ties have played to reach this point, and re­it­er­ated that there is a ma­jor op­por­tu­nity to be seized. She added that any agree­ment re­quires all sides to show lead­er­ship and flex­i­bil­ity and that the UK will do it all it can to sup­port a set­tle­ment.”

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