Brainiacs Could Aid Cyprus Talks

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond speaks to the media during a press conference at the foreign house after a meeting with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides, in the capital Nicosia, on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015. Hammond says the government will ask parliament’s permission to extend airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria once support from the majority of lawmakers is certain. Hammond is in Cyprus for one-day official visit. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA — Britain’s Foreign Secretary says the world’s “best brains” could be recruited to assist complex negotiations aimed at reunifying ethnically-split Cyprus.

Philip Hammond said after talks with his Cypriot counterpart on Nov. 19 that these experts could also help in finding ways to financially support a peace deal.

Hammond said he’s confident that the international community, including the European Union, will provide support to a negotiated settlement of the island’s long-standing division.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup aiming to unite the island with Greece.

Reports suggest it could take billions to prop up a peace deal, including financial arrangements for homes and other property lost during the war.