The again-stalled hopes for Cyprus unity move to a technical stage Jan. 18 at a Swiss resort with discussions about security guarantees if a deal is made.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, meeting in Geneva earlier this month, submitted their versions of how they want the island carved up and how much property and territory stolen by Turks in an unlawful 1974 invasion should be returned to Cypriots.
With the talks secret, the map was put into a United Nations safe and they then let the guarantors of security on the divided island – the UK, Greece and Turkey – try to hash it out.
That broke down almost immediately with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying his country’s 30,000-strong army in the occupied northern third would stay “forever” unless Greece also removed troops even as he said he wanted the right to militarily intervene, as Turkey did 43 years earlier.
Envoys from Cyprus and the Turkish-Cypriots will hold second-level negotiations until the political leaders are ready to take them on, with the likelihood that would include Erdogan and Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras if a prospective deal gets that far before going to a referendum on both sides of the island.
Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Ozdil Nami are heading the specialist teams of their respective sides set to discuss the security and guarantees issue, the Cyprus Mail reported.
The guarantor powers will be represented by Greek Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry Dimitris Paraskevopoulos; Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Muhtar Gun (Turkey); and the UK’s Director General of the Foreign Office Jonathan Allen (UK).
The EU, an observer and interested party to the talks, will be represented by the union’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva Peter Sorensen.