Will Cyprus remain forever divided?
The negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus, which were widely regarded as the most promising talks to date, have collapsed after two years. The media in the countries concerned react with a corresponding sense of disillusionment.
A victory for Turkey
Ankara has emerged as the clear winner from the failed talks, the Greek Cypriot daily Politis comments:
“If we look for the visible and invisible aspects that led to this stalemate we see that it is Turkey that benefits from the turn events have taken. Turkey remains as an occupying power on Cyprus and retains its intervention rights. And the losers are naturally the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots. Because this reality has created new facts. At the European and international level the perception that the Cyprus problem is insolvable has been reinforced.”
EU must correct its mistake
The Turkish daily Hürriyet, by contrast, sees the Greek Cypriots as responsible for the failed talks:
“The Cypriot Greeks have prevented an agreement on Cyprus. Now that all hope of ever becoming part of the EU has died there is no more motivation to solve the problem. The Greek Republic in southern Cyprus has made it plain to all that it will never accept a federation model on the island. Is there nothing the powerful EU can do in this situation? Since the negotiations have failed and the Greek side is responsible it's time the EU makes up for the mistake it made in 2004 when it took in this half country as a member.”
Deal more distant than ever
There will be no agreement for Cyprus in the near future, the Economist predicts:
“Reunification talks came closer to success last week than ever before. ... After the talks failed, politicians and diplomats made hopeful statements about reviving them after a period of reflection. But that is unlikely to happen soon. Cyprus is not at the top of the agenda for the UN, and in any case its involvement has so far proved expensive and inconclusive. And despite the impression one might have after decades of negotiations, they cannot continue forever. Younger Cypriots, born long after the island's de facto partition, are less and less interested in reunification.”
Next conflict already lined up
The Cyprus Mail is also pessimistic in the wake of the breakdown of the talks:
“The European Commission did not give up, a spokesman underlining its commitment 'to supporting both sides to reach a viable settlement in the future'. How far away this future might be nobody knows. In the immediate future, however, there will be events that might prove critical. Later this month French oil giant Total is expected to start drilling in Block 11. Turkey had repeatedly issued threats against drilling, warning the Cyprus government that it would take action ... When and how it will react nobody knows.”