UN Cyprus talks col­lapse de­spite hopes for deal

Turk­ish stance ob­structed progress

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

After nine days of in­ten­sive talks aimed at fi­nally re­uni­fy­ing Cyprus, United Na­tions Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res de­clared yes­ter­day that UN-buffered peace talks had once again failed, mark­ing the dra­matic cul­mi­na­tion of a process that lasted more than two years.

“Un­for­tu­nately... an agree­ment was not pos­si­ble and the con­fer­ence was closed with­out the pos­si­bil­ity to bring a so­lu­tion to this dra­mat­i­cally long-last­ing prob­lem,” Guter­res told re­porters at the Swiss re­sort of Crans-Mon­tana early yes­ter­day. “I want to ex­press my deep grat­i­tude and ap­pre­ci­a­tion to the lead­ers of the two com­mu­ni­ties and to wish the best to all Cypri­ots north and south,” he added, re­fer­ring to Cyprus Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades and the leader of the Turk­ishoc­cu­pied north, Mustafa Ak­inci.

Guter­res sought to of­fer a glim­mer of hope, how­ever, that a new UN-backed ef­fort might get the is­land’s lead­ers lead­ers back around the ne­go­ti­a­tions ta­ble. “The con­fer­ence is closed,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that other ini­tia­tives can­not be de­vel­oped to ad­dress the Cyprus prob­lem.”

The UN leader avoided go­ing into de­tails about the rea­sons for the col­lapse of the lat­est peace drive. It was clear, how­ever, that an al­most to­tal lack of progress on the thorny is­sues of for­eign guar­an­tees and se­cu­rity on the is­land were the key prob­lems de­spite the ap­par­ent will­ing­ness of the Greek-Cypriot side to read­dress points of ne­go­ti­a­tion that had been con­sid­ered closed.

Diplo­matic sources in­di­cated that Turkey’s in­sis­tence on main­tain­ing troops on Cyprus and main­tain­ing a se­cu­rity guar­an­tee for 15 years was what es­sen­tially caused talks to col­lapse as such a deal would sim­ply not fly with Greek Cypri­ots.

Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Bi­nali Yildirim was quick to blame the Greek-Cypriot side for the fail­ure of the talks, say­ing they “un­for­tu­nately did not show an ex­pected con­struc­tive at­ti­tude.” How­ever, he in­di­cated that Ankara would it­self adopt a con­struc­tive stance if the UN or another or­ga­ni­za­tion makes another at­tempt to achieve peace.

Ear­lier, Turk­ish For­eign Min­is­ter Mev­lut Cavu­soglu said the out­come “shows the im­pos­si­bil­ity of reach­ing a set­tle­ment within the pa­ram­e­ters of the Good Of­fices Mis­sion,” us­ing a term re­fer­ring to the UN. “No use in in­sist­ing on them,” he added.

In Athens, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials avoided tak­ing a strong pub­lic stance on the out­come ahead of a sched­uled ap­pear­ance in Par­lia­ment on Mon­day of Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras, who is to pro­vide de­tails of the doomed peace drive. How- ever, Greek and Greek-Cypriot par­ties were unan­i­mous in blam­ing Turkey’s neg­a­tive stance for the failed ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Ini­tial hopes that Ankara might con­cede in ne­go­ti­a­tions had led Guter­res to com­mu­ni­cate on Thursday morn­ing with Tsipras, Yildirim and Theresa May, prime min­is­ter of Bri­tain, which is one of Cyprus’s for­eign guar­an­tor pow­ers.

UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res in­forms the me­dia that the con­fer­ence on Cyprus un­der the aus­pices of the United Na­tions is closed with­out any agree­ment, in Crans-Mon­tana, Switzer­land, yes­ter­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.