If UN Brokers UN Cyprus Unity Talks, Anastasiades Could Return

FILE - Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA. With the collapse of negotiations aimed at reunify Cyprus seeming to signal an end to the process for now, President Nicos Anastasiades said he’d consider returning but only if talks are conducted within boundaries set by the United Nations.

His head-to-head with Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci broke down in July at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana after Turkey said it wouldn’t agree to remove its 35,000-strong standing army or the right to militarily intervene.

That stopped the talks dead in their tracks and also saw UN Special Envoy Espen Barth Eide throw in the towel to return to his native Norway to run for office, the latest in a long line of diplomats who’ve failed to make progress since Turkey unlawfully invaded in 1974 and as it occupies the northern third of the island.

Anastasiades, who said Eide had favored Turkey, nonetheless showed a willingness to resume but only within parameters set by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the news site EURACTIV reported. Guterres had intervened in the Swiss talks but also failed.

Anastasiades also said Turkey didn’t want to find a solution within the UN framework
and “prefers to act outside the UN parameters,” the report added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu said last month that the failure of the talks showed the “impossibility of a solution within the parameters of the UN Good Offices Mission. There is no meaning left in continuing within these parameters,” he said, adding that Ankara will continue efforts to find a resolution “under different parameters,” which put a stop to hopes of reunification.

Greece’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias recently told EURACTIV in an interview that Turkey has not identified what it means when it says parameters outside the UN.

“I think that any solution to the Cyprus problem must be within the framework of the UN and more generally, within the framework of international law. There can be no solution to the Cyprus problem by imposing mechanisms and procedures that are outside the international context,” Kotzias said.