Cyprus Unity Talks Going Wrong Way

NICOSIA — A United Nations envoy says deadlocked talks to reunify ethnically split Cyprus are “moving in the wrong direction” amid a dispute over rights to search for offshore gas.

Espen Barth Eide said after talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Jan. 14 that there is increasing concern over the protracted impasse and it’s unclear when talks will resume.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup aiming at union with Greece. Turkey doesn’t recognize Cyprus as a state and insists it won’t allow a unilateral oil and gas search by the internationally recognized Greek Cypriots at the expense of breakaway Turkish Cypriots.

Anastasiades suspended talks last October when Turkey announced plans to mount a mineral search in waters where the Cypriot government had licensed other companies to drill.