In brief

No progress in Cyprus talks after Turkish Cypriot authorities back partition

Ankara government supports island’s division

UN Secretary-General António Guterres
UN Secretary-General António Guterres Author: United Nations
As expected, the first round of talks on the future of Cyprus since 2017 ended without significant progress that could provide a glimpse of a short-term solution to the dispute. Turkish Cypriot authorities, backed by Turkey, are calling for the recognition of the island’s partition as a precondition for any negotiations.

Under UN auspices, talks brought together the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus (Greek Cypriots), the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognised only by Turkey) and Turkey, Greece and the UK.

There are still “not enough common grounds to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.

The Republic of Cyprus insists that negotiations for the establishment of a north-south federation with a single international personality, as agreed by the authorities of the two halves of the island in 2008, should be resumed.

But the fact is that the current president of North Cyprus, Ersin Tatar, attended the talks with a proposal that buries the federal idea, and calls instead for the recognition of an “equal international status” and the “inherent sovereign equality” of the two states before negotiating a “cooperative relationship.” In short, Tatar —and Turkey— are banking on the definitive partition of the island, between a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot state in the south.

Guterres said that new talks will be held “in the near future.”