UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced that Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades have...
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced that Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades have agreed on a new round of talks to clinch a deal for reunification of the island.
The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded its northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece. The Greek Cypriot side demanded that the withdrawal of Turkish troops be discussed at the conference in Geneva as part of security arrangements.
But the Turkish Cypriots maintained that the conference should focus on broader issues of power-sharing, property rights and territory for the creation of a new federation. Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean.
It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece. It was formally annexed by Britain in 1914. Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, and Greek Cypriot population was in majority. Cyprus was granted independence in 1960.
In July 1974, a coup d'état was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists, in an attempt at enosis, the incorporation of Cyprus into Greece. This action precipitated the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, which led to the capture of the present-day territory of Northern Cyprus.
A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983; the move was widely condemned by the international community, with Turkey alone recognising the new state. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute.
The Republic of Cyprus has de jure sovereignty over the entire island. The two Cypriot leaders also agreed to continue in parallel the bi-communal negotiations in Geneva on all other outstanding issues, starting with territory, property and governance and power-sharing.
The Secretary-General will reach out to the other participants of the conference: Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom and the European Union.