Cyprus's reunification on the rocks?

UN special advisor Espen Barth Eide has broken off the Cyprus talks for the time being on the grounds that the chief negotiators on both sides have been unable to agree on the formalities of a summit on the reunification of the island, which has been divided since 1974. Both sides are shirking responsibility, commentators write, but they still hope a solution can be found.

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Cyprus Mail (CY) /

Cowardly leaders

Akıncı and Anastasiades have wasted far too much time on the negotiations, the Cyprus Mail comments disappointedly:

“Bickering about details and procedure is a game as old as the Cyprus problem, the default position of the leaders when they are unwilling to take the big steps needed for real progress and eventually an agreement ... True leaders would not waste their time on details and bickering about procedure. They provide the vision, take the big decisions, set the targets and order their advisors and technocrats to bash out the details and sort out technicalities, within tight time-frames, because they are interested in results. Cyprus leaders, in contrast, deal with procedural detail and technicalities personally and use them in order not to get results. It is what you expect from cowardly politicians who think small, fear taking responsibility and refuse to see the bigger picture.”

Politis (CY) /

All that's really needed are small steps

Hopes that an agreement can be reached in Cyprus shouldn't be given up even if the outlook isn't good at the moment, Politis writes:

“Espen Barth Eide is hoping that the two leading negotiators will wake up and realise that the talks are of national significance. For this reason, after the initial shock of the announcement on Friday the United Nations made it clear that the process hasn't ended. It will depend on how the two leaders respond in the coming days. … The United Nations and those observing the negotiations are disappointed because even small compromises on both sides would be enough to complete the process - something that could still be achieved at a new meeting between the leaders.”