NICOSIA – Once-soaring optimism for a deal to reunite Cyprus 43 years after an unlawful Turkish invasion split the island have been dashed once again after rival political leaders were said to have made no real progress in the resumption of negotiations that collapsed earlier.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci made no headway, the newspaper Kathimerini said, in a meeting brokered by always-upbeat United Nations Special Envoy Espen Barth Eide whose constant predictions of imminent breakthroughs and secret compromises have all failed to materialize, which hasn’t kept him from saying they will one day.
Eide said the UN would back another international summit for Cyprus, but that it was up to Anastasiades and Akinci to go ahead with it as they took turns blaming each other in a sharp turnaround from their friendly concessions earlier and talk the two moderate leaders would finally find a solution to a dilemma evading more than two dozen diplomats and envoys.
Anastasiades accused Turkey of a lack of goodwill to reach a settlement as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans to send an energy research vessel into Cypriot waters where international companies are due to start drilling this summer.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov began a two-day working visit to Cyprus May 18 saying that countries should avoid force or the threat of violence and try to work out a diplomatic solution and find a magical answer.
Referring to Turkey’s provocations over energy, he said that, “in this case, as in any other similar case, there is a need for self-restraint not to threaten violence and also restraint not to use violence.”