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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Reunification talks collapse before Cyprus EU stint | EurActiv

Coming directly from a very interesting talk by, and then lunch with, the head of the "Turkey desk" at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I will blog about his talk shortly, but in the meanwhile, this just in from
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said progress in the talks to reunify the divided island of Cyprus was insufficient to call an international conference. The statement appears to put an end to hopes that Cyprus' upcoming EU presidency could be a catalyst for the resolution of the Cyprus problem.
An island divided. Courtesy of the Nations Online Project.
The background is that Ban Ki-moon has been pressuring the parties to come to an agreement ahead of July of this year, which is when (Greek) Cyprus is set to take over the EU's rotating presidency. Turkey has warned that it will essentially freeze relations with the Union during the Cypriot presidency, and one (the only?) way around that would have been an agreement or at least very substantial movement toward a resolution of the Cyprus conflict before July.

In that spirit, Alexander Downer - the UN special advisor to Cyprus - last month announced that he wanted to hold an international conference in May, at which the two parties and the UK would finalize an accord. But it now appears that there has not been enough movement toward a resolution for the conference to be held, which spells trouble for Cyprus and for Turkey-EU relations as a whole, at least during the Cypriot presidency.

Reunification talks collapse before Cyprus EU stint | EurActiv

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