Another chance for peace in Cyprus?

Hopes for the reunification of Cyprus still have a chance of coming true. The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and the leader of the Turkish Cypriots Mustafa Akıncı have agreed to resume their talks in January. Commentators call on both sides to show a willingness to compromise.

Open/close all quotes
Cyprus Mail (CY) /

Time is ripe for reunification

Cyprus stands a good chance of being reunited, the Cyprus Mail believes:

“After 50 years of inconclusive negotiations, it is about time. The time for the difficult choices cannot be put off any longer. In January, there will either be an agreement that will be put to a referendum or there will be a collapse of the talks and the preferred solution of the rejectionists - partition - would become final. Their worry is that they do not want it to become final, because they will no longer be able to politically exploit the Cyprus problem, peddling empty promises and false hope. Nobody would believe them if this process, which had everything going for it, failed and nobody would buy talk of new strategies - hence their fanatical aversion to time-frames.”

Hürriyet Daily News (TR) /

Akıncı prey to Anastasiades' caprices

The two sides in the Cyprus negotiations have not shown equal willingness to compromise, Hürriyet Daily News complains:

“Since Mustafa Akıncı became president of Turkish Cyprus, and efforts to find a federal resolution to the Cyprus problem picked up momentum, each time the ship of talks hit the rocks, the Greek Cypriots managed to get something extra to refloat the vessel. Over time, Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades has become an expert of caprice, and Akıncı, a perfect henpecked negotiator, giving in, though often with some delay, to every demand of his counterpart for the sake of saving the talks.”

Der Bund (CH) /

Erdoğan behind failed reunification

The talks on the reunification of Cyprus failed because of Turkey's President Erdoğan, Der Bund surmises:

“The North is more economically dependent than ever on Turkey. Ankara keeps the unofficial 82nd Turkish province afloat not just with money; now even its drinking water comes from Turkey through a pipeline. The Turkification of a secular island order is advancing at a rapid pace, driven by pious settlers. … Whether the island is reunified or not will ultimately be decided by an outsider: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The joint future of the island depends on whether he withdraws the more than 35,000 soldiers he has there and releases Cyprus. In better years accession to the EU would have been an incentive for him to do this. A solution to the Cyprus conflict could have boosted the negotiations. But right now Erdoğan has no interest in the EU. He is turning his back on it.”

Kıbrıs Postası (CY) /

Don't give up now

Despite the failure of the talks in Mont Pèlerin there is still hope that an agreement will be reached, columnist Ulaş Barış stresses in the Turkish-Cypriot paper Kıbrıs Postası:

“The process has made such excellent progress in the last 18 months that even in view of the failed meeting we can't say it's all over now. And just as we can't say it's all over, we also can't simply throw away all the work and reconciliation that has been achieved. Yes, the situation seems hopeless, but we must not allow the process to die. ... Yes, this summit in which we put so much hope has failed because of the unreasonable and inappropriate demands of the Greeks. And I am convinced that the Turkish side did all it could. ... Those who want and believe in a solution should support the process to its conclusion.”

Cyprus Mail (CY) /

Anastasiades must be more moderate

The president of the Republic of Cyprus should jump over his own shadow to save the unification process, Cyprus Mail believes:

“The reality is that if President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci do not find a way to break the deadlock over the next few days the best ever opportunity for a settlement would be lost for good. The situation can still be salvaged but it may require Anastasiades crossing some of the red lines he had drawn. For instance, it beggars belief that he was willing to wreck the procedure over the return of one village - Morphou. Now he may have to agree to go to a five-party conference [attended by Greece, Turkey, the UK, the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot leadership] without the territorial readjustments being finalised and a range of other open issues in order to save the procedure.”