The three-day Geneva talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders have failed to bring the parties closer together in resolving decades of conflict. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced this and has promised to convene another meeting in the coming months.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, with Turkish troops occupying the northern third of the island in retaliation for a conspiracy backed by the then Athenian military junta, which aimed to unite the island with Greece.
Currently, Northern Cyprus has a Turkish military contingent of about 35,000 men, and the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Ankara, is in fact completely dependent on Turkish economic support.
According to Turkish Cypriot leader Erzin Tatar, further talks would not make sense without recognizing the independence of the two countries.
Attempts have been made several times to reunite Cyprus. A very close settlement was reached between the two sides in 2004, when the UN. Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders have backed a plan to reunite the island, as proposed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
To implement this plan, it had to be supported by a majority of people in both parts of the divided island. The majority of Turkish Cypriots supported it, but the majority of Greek Cypriots rejected it. Therefore, only the Greek part of Cyprus joined the EU.
The last time the two sides sat at the negotiating table was in 2017, but again the process Stopped.
The leaders of the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have very different views on the future of the island.
Prior to the talks, the Republic of Cyprus and its close ally Greece fully supported the solution proposed by the UN, reuniting the northern and southern parts of the island into a federal state.
In contrast, Ersin Tatar, President of Northern Cyprus, believes that the Greek and Turkish parts of Cyprus cannot be united in one country, so the only solution is the coexistence of two independent countries.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports the position of the leader of Northern Cyprus. Analysts say he does not want to reunite Cyprus because he fears he will lose influence on the island, and that he does not want to be embroiled in a dispute with the Republic of Cyprus over the gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean.
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