UN Envoy: Cyprus Peace Talks at Risk from Possible "Crisis"

Αssociated Press

U.N. Special Advisor of the Secretary-General Espen Barth Eide waves the media as he leaves the presidential palace after a meeting with Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia, Cyprus, Thursday, May 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A United Nations envoy says talks aimed at reunifying ethnically Cyprus are at risk of collapse because of a possible "international crisis" revolving around the east Mediterranean island.

Espen Barth Eide said after talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades Thursday that "we may be looking forward to rather dramatic times" and urged everyone involved in peace talks to work to reduce tensions.

He said it would be very sad for everyone to see the "tremendous progress" that Anastasiades has made with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci go to waste.

Earlier this week, Cyprus government spokesman said Turkey's "threats" to prevent oil and gas exploration off Cyprus could be designed to scuttle peace talks.

On Thursday, Anastasiades said Cyprus' hydrocarbons search "won't be affected by whichever threats."