Can New Cyprus Talks Find an Unlikely Breakthrough?


Greek and Turkish Cypriots have been preparing for new talks on reunifying their island. This time, the United Nations has asked them to figure out not how to share power, territory, and resources, but whether they want a shared future at all.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will oversee three days of informal discussions starting in Geneva on Tuesday between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, joined by the foreign ministers of Cyprus’ “guarantors”—Greece, Turkey, and former colonial ruler the United Kingdom.

“The purpose of the meeting will be to determine whether common ground exists for the parties to negotiate a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem within a foreseeable horizon,” Guterres said.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey occupied its northern third in response to a coup that sought to annex the island to Greece. Three attempts at reunification have failed since 2004—the most recent at the Swiss resort town of Crans Montana in 2017.

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