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Cyprus

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

No progress in reunification talks: negotiators met 25 Aug, discussed “methodology”; Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades 28 Aug requested personal involvement of Turkish President Erdoğan. Former Norwegian FM Espen Barth Eide appointed special advisor to UNSG on Cyprus 22 Aug, days after Norwegian Major General Kristin Lund appointed new chief of UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

Cyprus

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Despite UNSG Ban’s 1 July call to intensify efforts toward comprehensive settlement, no tangible progress as island marked 40 years of physical partition: Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu, Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades met 7 and 24 July; Eroğlu 7 July submitted 5-step roadmap for negotiations including referendum in 2014; Republic of Cyprus spokesman Christodoulides 16 July said roadmap unacceptable, contradicts UN framework; Anastasiades 13 July said country opposed to partition. Turkish PM Erdoğan 15 July, President Gül 20 July reiterated Turkey’s commitment to political Cyprus solution. Greek Cypriot group 14 July filed war crimes case against Turkey before ICC.

Cyprus

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

No sign of breakthrough in reunification talks despite several meetings between chief negotiators in June. Turkish Cypriots blamed Greek Cypriots’ unwillingness to compromise while Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades 10 June said negotiations in deadlock unless Turkish Cypriots willing to discuss all core issues, called for more EU involvement. Anastasiades 2 June met Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu; proposed permanent Greek Cypriot president and Turkish Cypriot VP for new federation; refused by Turkish Cypriots who demand rotating presidency. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry 23 June reportedly called Cyprus a “defunct” state.

Cyprus

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

European Court of Human Rights 12 May ruled Turkey must pay €90mn compensation for human rights violations related to 1974 Cyprus invasion: €60mn to enclaved Greek Cypriots on Karpas peninsula in north, €30mn to relatives of missing persons. Turkish FM Davutoğlu said Turkey did not intend to pay and decision hurts ongoing reunification talks. New phase in talks between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots started 13 May with discussion of property issue; chief Turkish Cypriot negotiator 28 May said no agreement on roadmap for next stage, issue of natural gas discoveries could present obstacles in talks. During highest level American visit to island in over 50 years, U.S. VP Biden 21 May said Republic of Cyprus is only recognised govt, reiterated U.S. commitment to solving Cyprus problem and developing energy partnership.

Cyprus

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot negotiators 15 April completed screening and reviewing phase of reunification talks; coming stage will focus on bridging proposals, next meeting 6 May. Despite no evidence to suggest imminent breakthrough, Turkish Cypriot leader Eroğlu 21 April suggested settlement could be reached in 2014.

Cyprus

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Little sign of progress since reunification talks restarted 11 Feb despite regular meetings between negotiators: Republic of Cyprus President Anastasiades 16 March said initial indications not encouraging. Extreme right Greek Cypriot group Elam attacked former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in Limassol 26 March; Talat unhurt.

Cyprus

  |  1 Mar 2014

Improved

Reunification talks restarted 11 Feb after 18-month pause; leaders of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities issued Joint Declaration emphasising future reunified Cyprus to be based on political equality for Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, single united Cyprus citizenship, single international legal personality and single sovereignty. Agreement welcomed by EU, U.S.; Turkey supported talks but FM Davutoğlu 9 Feb suggested two-state solution as alternative path if Greek Cypriots reject new settlement deal, saying “talks cannot and will not last forever”. For first time in more than 4 decades, chief negotiators from both Cypriot communities held official talks in Athens and Ankara respectively 27 Feb.

Cyprus

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Start of reunification negotiations continue to be stalled over wording of joint statement. UN special envoy Downer 15 Jan met with negotiators from both sides for final round of contacts ahead of informal briefing with UNSC 22 Jan. Business groups from both communities, Greece and Turkey 9 Jan called for “comprehensive and permanent solution” on island.

Cyprus

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Attempts to restart reunification talks reached impasse over definition of “single sovereignty” in proposed joint statement that would set goals for talks. During visit to Athens Turkish FM Davutoğlu 14 Dec echoed Turkish Cypriot view of future bizonality as sovereignty divided between 2 constituent states; Greek Cypriots insist on single sovereignty as precondition to resume talks. Greek and Turkish FMs reportedly agreed to simultaneous visits by Turkish Cypriot chief negotiator to Athens and Greek Cypriot chief negotiator to Ankara, but process held up by disagreement over content of joint statement from FMs.

Cyprus

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

New round of reunification talks between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, planned to begin by end Oct, delayed as negotiators unable to agree on joint statement. After informal meeting with Turkish Cypriot President Eroğlu 25 Nov, Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades said “still a long way to go” before “substantive dialogue” could start. Following talks with negotiators from both sides early Nov, UN special envoy Downer said efforts “inching ahead”. Republic of Cyprus govt 22 Nov announced it will begin talks with Italian-South Korean venture on licensing 2 offshore blocks for natural gas exploitation.

Cyprus

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Republic of Cyprus President Anastasiades 4 Oct called for “new impetus” ahead of peace talks expected to start in coming weeks, 27 Oct said his govt wants to reunify island, but would not give in to pressure. Turkish FM Davutoğlu 9 Oct said there is “window of opportunity for peace”. Turkish Cypriot FM Özdil Nami 9 Oct expressed hope to reach agreement on peace plan by March 2014.

Cyprus

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Turkish FM Davutoğlu and Greek FM Venizelos 23 Sept reached breakthrough agreement on visits by representatives of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders to Athens and Ankara respectively in attempt to find political solution on island. Leaders voiced demand for immediate resumption of intercommunal talks on Cyprus settlement. Israel’s energy envoy Michael Lotem 10 Sept called on Turkey, Cyprus to move together to develop Israel’s share of East Mediterranean’s natural gas riches. 

Cyprus

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Greek Cypriot president Anastasiades 21 Aug said solution to Cyprus problem “remains government’s priority”, reiterated demand for return of Famagusta. UNSG special envoy Downer 1 Aug said UN engaged with both sides ahead of new UN-mediated negotiations expected Oct.

Cyprus

  |  1 Aug 2013

Unchanged

Turkish Cypriot president Eroğlu 16 July said peace talks anticipated for Oct “last chance for a solution”. Greek Cypriot president Anastasiades said talks could resume only under conditions that could lead to tangible results, including return of Famagusta. Republic of Cyprus National Council 17 July approved Foreign ministry Sec Gen Andreas Mavroyiannis as Greek Cypriots’ new “interlocutor” in any talks. In 28 July Turkish Cypriot general elections 4 parties entered new parliament, opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) got highest vote with 38%.

Cyprus

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

Turkish Cypriot president Eroğlu 10 June said he expected new UN-mediated negotiations with Greek Cypriots to start by Oct. Greek Cypriot-led Rep of Cyprus govt 26 June signed statement of intent with U.S./Israeli partners for €7-8bn LNG plant to develop Cyprus offshore gas.

Cyprus

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

Turkish PM Erdoğan 16 May said “there is a real opportunity to reach an agreement on the Cyprus issue”, and that Turkey continues to focus on it. Turkish President Gül and Energy Minister Yıldız 10 May signalled possible cooperation with Cyprus on East Med gas. Republic of Cyprus FM Kasoulides 10 May said new reunification talks cannot start until fall 2013. UNSG special envoy Downer 28 May said UN did not set a date for resumption of talks.


Cyprus

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoğlu 7 April criticised Greek Cypriots for not re-starting reunification talks, Republic of Cyprus govt spokesman said current conditions not good. UNSG special envoy Alexander Downer 24 April said sides must take into account Greek Cypriot economic difficulties, added leaders likely to meet for talks in May. International bailout for Cyprus approved 12 April, involving €10 billion in loans and up to €13.5 billion contribution by Cyprus, rescuing country from bankruptcy and departure from Eurozone. Turkish energy minister 8 April said can cooperate with Greek Cypriots and Israel in joint energy projects “so long as the political atmosphere allows it”.

Cyprus

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

UN-led reunification talks between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots on backburner amid Republic of Cyprus financial crisis. New Greek Cypriot govt’s €10 billion bailout deal with EU and IMF 24 March, including downsizing of financial sector and taxes on bank deposits over €100,000, caused public protests.

Cyprus

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

Democratic Rally (DISI) leader Nicos Anastasiades won Republic of Cyprus presidential elections with 57.5% of vote in 24 Feb second round; hopes that this may give boost to reunification talks as he supports a looser federation model favoured by many Turkish Cypriots.

Cyprus

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

No movement on reunification talks ahead of 17 Feb presidential elections in Republic of Cyprus. Angry rhetoric towards Turkey continued; Republic of Cyprus FM Erato Kozakou-Marcoulli 15 Jan accused Turkey of “still [opting] for a hard power stance”, said it was “out of the question” for Cyprus to lift its veto on 6 of Turkey’s EU negotiating chapters, including energy. Greek Cypriot govt 28 Jan said transporting Cypriot gas via pipeline to Turkey not possible until solution reached.

Cyprus

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

No movement expected in reunification negotiations before Feb 2013 presidential elections in Republic of Cyprus. Main opposition Democratic Rally (DISY)’s president Nikos Anastasiades, warmer towards reunification under a looser federation that Turkish Cypriots also favour, maintains lead in poll with AKEL’s Stavros Malas second and EDEK-backed hardliner Giorgos Lillikas third. 80 UNFICYP peacekeepers 30 Nov confronted Turkish soldiers in buffer zone over construction of fence by Turkish side; Turks later agreed to take it down.

Cyprus

  |  1 Dec 2012

Unchanged

Turkish foreign ministry 3 Nov issued statement on Republic of Cyprus’ 2nd offshore licensing round for exploration of hydrocarbons, warned “adverse consequences” if international companies carried out “activities in the disputed areas over which Turkish Cypriots also have rights”, reiterating PM’s statement that they would be barred from new energy projects in Turkey. UN envoy Downer met separately with leaders of two sides during trip to island 20 Nov, implied progress not expected in reunification talks until Feb 2013 Greek Cypriot presidential elections.

Cyprus

  |  1 Nov 2012

Unchanged

Speaking in north Cyprus, Turkey’s EU Minister Bağış 16 Oct said recognition of Greek Cypriots by other states “means nothing”, implied Turkey had no intention of giving Varosha (Maraș) and Morphou (Güzelyurt) back to Greek Cypriots as part of a solution. Several protests in south after Turkish Cypriots 30 Sept arrested Greek Cypriot police who had chased Turkish Cypriot youth into north. President Christofias asked UN to intervene; policemen released 3 Oct.

Cyprus

  |  1 Oct 2012

Unchanged

With peace talks between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on hold ahead of Feb 2013 Greek Cypriot elections, UN envoy Downer 23 Sept said efforts currently focused on talks with two sides’ technocrats. Commenting on UN initiative to codify positions of both sides, Greek Cypriot president Christofias said next president not committed to convergences already reached in talks.

Cyprus

  |  1 Sep 2012

Unchanged

FM Marcoullis 23 Aug sought clarification from UK govt over media claims UK bases in Cyprus being used for intelligence support to Syrian rebels. Turkish Energy Minister Yıldız 15 Aug said Turkey’s state petroleum corporation, TPAO, would begin searching for oil in new onshore field in Turkish Cypriot north.

Cyprus

  |  1 Aug 2012

Unchanged

Cyprus assumed EU’s 6-month rotating presidency 1 July. Turkish Cypriot leader Erdoğan 29 June said reunification talks with Greek Cypriots would continue after February 2013 Republic of Cyprus (RoC) presidential elections if deadline to negotiations set, embargoes on N Cyprus removed. UNSC 19 July extended UNFICYP peacekeeping mandate for 6 months, called on both sides to return to negotiations. RoC Minister of Commerce Syklitis 25 July revealed natural gas in RoC’s EEZ not extractable until 2017. Turkey 13 July carried out naval exercises in RoC’s EEZ; RoC spokesman said govt appealing to UN over provocation.

Cyprus

  |  1 Jul 2012

Unchanged

President Christofias 4 June insisted Cyprus’ EU presidency would be exercised with neutrality, declared desire to continue reunification talks with Turkish Cypriots; UNSG Special Adviser Downer 22 June said no new meetings planned between 2 leaders; EU Enlargement Commissioner Füle 21 June warned against ending talks, said “no plan B” to reunification; Turkish Cypriot leader Eroğlu expressed preference for confidence-building measures “instead of negotiating for nothing” during Cypriot EU Presidency.

Cyprus

  |  1 Jun 2012

Unchanged

President Christofias 14 May ruled out re-election after pledge to bow out if no reunification solution found. UNSG Ban 19 May reportedly suggested in meeting with EU Commission President Barroso bid to convince Turkey to renew negotiations despite Turkish vow to freeze negotiations during Cypriot EU Presidency. UN Special Adviser Downer 24 May said convergences achieved so far should not be “thrown away”, expressed desire for talks to continue at technical level with discussion of confidence building measures but admitted “period of uncertainty” while President Christofias’ successor unknown. After French, Italian, Russian oil companies bid 11 May for Cyprus East Mediterranean hydrocarbon blocks, Turkey 18 May warned it will not allow exploration in disputed zones, said applying for Cypriot licenses would disqualify them from Turkish contracts.

Cyprus

  |  1 May 2012

Unchanged

UNSG Ban 22 April announced decision not to call international conference, citing “insufficient progress on core issues” in reunification talks; UNSG’s Special Adviser Downer 27 April said UN will host no more “unproductive” high-level meetings, “no more business as usual”. Turkish Cypriot leader Eroğlu had called on UN to open 5-party conference with guarantor countries (UK, Greece, Turkey); Greek Cypriot President Christofias said Eroğlu backtracking, called for continued negotiations. Turkish media 16 April quoted anonymous Turkish official saying if no solution reached by 1 July, Turkey will unilaterally call for international recognition of Turkish Cypriot state, or annex north if recognition not forthcoming. Turkish Deputy PM Arınç 16 April denied existence of ‘Plan B’, said eventual status would be decided by Turkish Cypriots.  

Cyprus

  |  1 Apr 2012

Unchanged

EU minister Bağış 3 March suggested Turkey can annex N Cyprus if reunification negotiations fail; Republic of Cyprus 5 March called comments “arrogant and provocative”, Turkish Cypriot opposition leaders said statement “derogatory and unfortunate”. Local opinion poll 19 March revealed 52% of Turkish Cypriots reject annexation, 31% approve. Turkish Cypriot leader Eroğlu 18 March said negotiations would be pointless after Cyprus assumes EU presidency 1 July; UNSG Special Adviser Downer also said talks likely to break down at that time. Turkish state oil company TPAO 12 March announced plans to drill for oil, gas off Cyprus’ north coast. Leaders of two Cypriot communities met 15-29 March to discuss property issue in reunification talks, no significant progress announced.

Cyprus

  |  1 Mar 2012

Unchanged

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders met 16, 21 Feb, discussed procedural matters and property chapter in reunification talks, made little progress. Turkish Cypriot leader Eroğlu 26 Feb reiterated negotiations would not continue once Cyprus takes over EU Presidency 1 July. Greek Cypriot govt 11 Feb opened second offshore hydrocarbon licensing round. Turkey issued statement 14 Feb protesting “provocative” unilateral step, warned it would take necessary measures to protect its interests. Greek Cypriot President 16 Feb called Turkey “troublemaker”, Greek Cypriot FM 15 Feb said its behavior was “bullying”.

Cyprus

  |  1 Feb 2012

Unchanged

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders met 4, 9 Jan ahead of 22-24 Jan trilateral summit with UNSG Ban. UN envoy Downer 4 Jan said UN aiming to secure agreement on core issues, particularly governance and power-sharing, property, citizenship, at meeting with Ban; said failure would prompt UN to “rethink the process”. In 4 Jan letters to leaders Ban voiced concerns talks had hit “an impasse”. Turkey reiterated plans to seek international recognition for breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in north if no solution. After summit Ban 25 Jan announced limited progress, said possible multilateral conference to convene in April/May after envoy Downer assesses situation in March.

Cyprus

  |  2 Jan 2012

Unchanged

Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders held weekly meetings in context of reunification negotiations, including on 5 Dec (external relations and property), 12 Dec (property), and 19 Dec (EU matters). Following 12 Dec meeting, UNSG’s special adviser Downer expressed frustration over lack of progress, told Greek Kathimerini 2 leaders remain on opposite sides ahead of 5th trilateral summit with Ban in New York 22 Jan. No agreements yet announced on 6 chapters under discussion. UNSC 14 Dec extended UNFICYP mandate until July 2012, called on 2 leaders to increase momentum of negotiations, resolve key outstanding issues before Ban meeting. Late Nov population census in Turkish Cypriot north found de facto population had only gone up 30,000 since 2006 to 295,000. Greek Cypriot trade minister late Dec said considering plans to export natural gas found south of island via Turkey, but only possible when solution found to Cyprus problem.

Cyprus

  |  1 Dec 2011

Unchanged

UNSG Ban’s end-Oct talks with Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders described as “positive”, though leaders failed to announce any convergences, agreements. Ban said expects internal aspects of Cyprus problem to be solved by Jan, move to multilateral conference soon after. Greek Cypriot media 15 Nov reported leaders agreed to meet once or twice a week until Jan, UN also to hold talks with negotiating teams. Regional tensions over Cyprus’ gas exploration in East Mediterranean remain high: Turkish petroleum corporation (TPAO) 2 Nov signed oil field services and production agreement with Turkish Cypriot administration; Turkish energy minister 15 Nov announced TPAO would also sign deal with Shell to search for reserves off Antalya, said Turkey moving strategic weight from Black Sea to Mediterranean. U.S. firm conducting exploratory drilling off Cyprus coast reported field may yield 3-9 trillion cubic feet of gas, below previous estimates. Turkish PM Erdoğan 11 Nov announced Turkey will be able supply water to Turkish Cypriot north by March 2014; Deputy PM Atalay 15 Nov added Turkey ready to share water with Greek Cypriots following settlement.   

Cyprus

  |  1 Nov 2011

Unchanged

Greek Cypriots 17 Oct announced cancellation of annual military exercise; Turkey reciprocated by cancelling military exercise it holds jointly with Turkish Cypriots on north of island. Move thought to have little bearing on chances of breakthrough in reunification talks, now seen as unlikely despite continued meetings, 30-31 Oct trilateral talks in New York between UNSG Ban and Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders. Greek Cypriot govt continued to struggle as official inquiry 3 Oct reported President Christofias personally responsible for July munitions blast which damaged island’s main power plant. Amid escalating tensions over oil and gas exploration off coast, in 24 Oct ceremony Christofias symbolically started drilling for gas, while Turkey launched new seismic study. Turkey’s “aggressive” behaviour towards Cyprus to be discussed at European Council in Dec, following 23 Oct proposal by Christofias.



Cyprus

  |  1 Oct 2011

Unchanged

Escalated tensions between Greek Cypriots and Turkey as controversial drilling for gas by U.S. company began south of Cyprus 19 Sept, despite repeated warnings by Turkey drilling would significantly damage peace process. EU and U.S. support Cyprus’s right to explore in area. Following reunification talks meeting between Greek Cypriot president Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu, UN envoy Alexander Downer 27 Sept urged both sides to exercise restraint; Eroglu said drilling not discussed at meeting. Turkey responded by hiring Norwegian research vessel to conduct oil and gas research in E Mediterranean. Turkish deputy PM 17 Sept said country would freeze relations with EU if and when Cyprus is given rotating EU presidency in 2012, as set to happen.



Cyprus

  |  1 Sep 2011

Unchanged

Continued fallout from 11 July munitions explosion, including downgrading of Cyprus credit rating, parliamentary approval 26 Aug of emergency fiscal package. Turkish Cypriot president Eroğlu said Greek Cypriot cabinet reshuffling that followed blast should not affect ongoing reunifications negotiations. President Christofias and negotiations faced further setback 4 Aug when Cyprus’ ruling coalition partner party DIKO quit govt, citing Christofias’ handling of reunification negotiations, inability to tackle economic crisis. Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders met for talks 23 Aug after 3 week break. Turkish govt requested U.S. postpone exploration for natural gas by U.S. company off Cyprus coast, claiming unilateral granting of concession by Cyprus illegal under international law, and citing concerns that discovery of gas could end desire of south to find solution; U.S. denied request.

Cyprus

  |  1 Aug 2011

Unchanged

Massive accidental blast 11 July at Greek Cypriot naval base killed 13 people, crippled country’s power supply, deepened Greek Cypriot economic malaise, forced govt shake-up and undermined President Christofias’s credibility. Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot chambers of commerce managed to negotiate Greek Cypriot purchase of significant amounts of power from Turkish Cypriots. Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders agreed to meet twice a week ahead of Oct meeting with UNSG Ban Ki-moon, as pressure builds for resolution before Greek Cypriot EU presidency in second half of 2012. European Commission President Barroso 20 July appointed adviser Jorge César das Neves as full-time representative to UN-facilitated talks. Turkish PM Erdogan 21 July told Turkish Cypriot journalists he would make no more concessions.

Cyprus

  |  1 Jul 2011

Unchanged

UNSC 13 June extended UNFICYP mandate for another 6 months, urged Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders to accelerate pace of talks to reunify island. Ahead of scheduled 7 July tripartite meeting with UNSG Ban, Special Adviser Downer 17 June met with Turkish FM Davutoğlu in Ankara. Reunification talks continued slowly: 2 leaders met 1, 16, 21, 30 June to discuss chapter on governance and power-sharing, Greek Cypriot media reported talks regressing. Turkish Cypriot leader Eroğlu 16 June accused Greek Cypriots of going back on issues where agreement had been reached, said solution difficult to achieve.

Cyprus

  |  1 Jun 2011

Unchanged

Main opposition right-wing party DISY won 22 May Greek Cypriot parliamentary elections with 34.3% of vote, beating President Christofias’s communist party AKEL (32.7%). Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders slowly continued reunification talks without breakthroughs; possibility of reaching comprehensive settlement before year-end seen as unlikely. Leaders met 5 May to sign agreement on international treaties, 12 May to discuss police and scheduled 7 July meeting with UNSG Ban. Early May poll showed mood on the island continuing to deteriorate; UNSGSR Alexander Downer 12 May said UN hoping for deal by mid 2012.

Cyprus

  |  1 May 2011

Unchanged

Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders met 6, 14 and 27 Apr to discuss chapter on security issues and ways to move forward with reunification negotiations. Debate on how to conduct an island-wide population census remains source of contention between sides. Pointing to lack of progress in talks, UNSG Ban early Apr indicated wish to meet with leaders mid-June, in what would be third trilateral meeting since Nov 2010. UN special envoy Downer spoke of “progress” in talks, but said “long way to go”. Greek Cypriot President Christofias 13 Apr urged EU to press Turkey to change intransigent stance on talks, 20 Apr complained to UNSG Ban and EU officials of Turkish “arrogance” towards Cyprus. Some 3,000 Turkish Cypriot demonstrators, mostly from unions, 7 Apr protested for third time this year against Ankara-backed economic austerity measures in the north.

Cyprus

  |  1 Apr 2011

Unchanged

Leaders of the two communities 18 March held hundredth meeting since 2008. Greek Cypriot President Christofias 9 March admitted “huge gap” existed on citizenship issue. After briefing UNSC on latest developments in negotiations, UN Special Adviser Downer 15 March said UNSG Ban would contact leaders to see if they should have another trilateral meeting. Around 30 trade unions and NGOs took part in protests in north 2 March against economic austerity measures imposed by Turkey. Many also complained about increasing number of Turkish immigrants. Turkish Cypriot authorities 12 March briefly arrested 8, including 4 MEPs (including Cypriot MEP) and 2 Cypriot clergymen, for illegally entering Varosha, under Turkish military control since 1974.

Cyprus

  |  1 Mar 2011

Unchanged

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders met 3 times during month: 9 Feb agreed on procedure to move forward by intensifying process and meeting weekly; 17 Feb confirmed progress already made on chapters on economy and EU matters. Turkish Cypriots late Jan, early Feb protested austerity measures introduced by Ankara 1 Jan, including cuts in public sector salaries, sale of state-owned enterprises; over 10,000 Turkish Cypriot state employees and unionists in anti-Turkey rally 28 Jan. Turkish PM Erdoğan condemned event as “collaboration” with Greek Cypriots, replaced Turkey’s ambassador to island with bureaucrat in charge of reining in Turkish Cypriot budget deficit. Christofias’s govt partner DIKO split with coalition to join 24 Feb parliament vote supporting joining NATO’s Partnership for Peace; Christofias vowed to veto proposal, raising coalition tensions to new high.

Cyprus

  |  1 Feb 2011

Unchanged

German Chancellor Merkel 11 Jan visited south of island, angered Turkey by expressing support for Greek Cypriot president Christofias, laying blame for lack of solution with Turkish side. After almost month-long hiatus in reunification talks due to Turkish Cypriot leader Eroğlu’s heart surgery, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders met 12, 21 Jan to discuss governance and power-sharing, EU matters chapters. Signalling change in Turkish Cypriot position on power sharing, Eroğlu in 15 Jan speech stressed existence of two states, demanded continued Turkish guarantees. In interview with Turkish Milliyet, Christofias 7 Jan offered to meet with Turkish officials in Turkey, without demanding recognition for Republic of Cyprus. FM Kyprianou 9 Jan said Nicosia would never agree to Turkey’s EU accession before Cyprus issue is resolved. 26 Jan meeting between 2 leaders and UNSG Ban in Geneva produced no breakthrough; Ban commended progress since last trilateral meeting in Nov, but said more work needed to reach further convergences on core issues. UNSG report to UNSC expected end-Feb on status of reunification talks. Tens of thousands of Turkish Cypriots 28 Jan protested against Ankara-backed govt austerity measures.

Cyprus

  |  3 Jan 2011

Unchanged

Ahead of planned meeting with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in Geneva 26 Jan, UNSG Ban 17 Dec said leaders had accelerated negotiations since their 18 Nov meeting with him in New York, expressed hope of “much more substantive progress on core issues” before Jan meeting. Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders met 6 Dec to discuss procedural issues, 15 Dec to discuss chapters on economy, governance, powersharing; no substantial progress or breakthrough announced. UN envoy Alexander Downer 19 Dec reported “momentum has been restored to the negotiations” following meetings with Ban – statement dismissed by Greek Cypriot politicians, media. Talks planned for 21 Dec postponed after Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu underwent successful heart surgery 19 Dec. Early Dec poll suggested both communities desire settlement, but lack trust, fear dominance by other. UNSC 16 Dec extended UNFICYP mandate until 15 June, hinted UN may wind down operations if no settlement soon; Turkey cast lone negative vote. Greek Cypriot fans’ attacks on Turkish players after basketball game in south 21 Dec resulted in minor injuries to Turkish team members.

“UN claims progress in Cyprus talks”, Sofia Echo, 15 Dec. 2010.

Cyprus

  |  1 Dec 2010

Unchanged

Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders met 1, 8 Nov to discuss property before meeting with UNSG Ban 18 Nov. Ban afterwards admitted talks continued “without clear progress or a clear end in sight”, and were “losing momentum”. Leaders agreed to intensify contacts in coming weeks to overcome major remaining points of disagreement. Further meeting with Ban scheduled end Jan, when UN will “determine its own next steps” if no further progress. But Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu earlier said solution in 2011 unlikely. Ban 23 Nov issued report on status of talks, criticising lack of progress, expressing pessimism over possibility of solution ahead of Turkey, Greek Cypriot elections mid-2011, warning talks could “founder fatally” if no agreement by then.

“Ban voices UN frustration at Cyprus delay”, Financial Times, 25 Nov. 2010. 

Cyprus

  |  1 Nov 2010

Unchanged

Greek Cypriot President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Eroğlu held another round of talks 13, 18 Oct on complex property issue, focus of talks since May. New northwest Limnitis-Yeşilırmak crossing point opened 14 Oct, seventh linking Turkish and Greek parts of island. Greek Cypriots 9 Oct cancelled annual military manoeuvres for third consecutive year to facilitate ongoing reunification talks; Turkish Cypriots reciprocated 18 Oct by cancelling annual joint military drills with Turkey. European Parliament committee 18 Oct voted against direct trade regulation to benefit northern Cypriots. Turkish FM Davutoğlu 13 Oct said direct trade regulation with Turkish Cyprus and opening of Famagusta port were obligations of EU. UNSG Ban 12 Oct noted slow progress in talks; both leaders accepted invitation to proposed 18 Nov tripartite meeting in New York.


Cyprus

  |  1 Oct 2010

Unchanged

Greek Cypriot President Christofias met Turkish Cypriot President Eroğlu 3 times for latest round of talks on property chapter, submitted proposals; Eroğlu 20 Sept complained Greek Cypriot proposals bring “nothing new”. Greek Cypriot FM Kyprianou 12 Sept threatened to block all Turkey’s EU negotiations if European Parliament approves Direct Trade Regulation (DTR) with northern Cyprus; Eroğlu 14 Sept accused Greek Cypriot side of “insincerity” for lobbying EU against DTR, 18 Sept said Turkish Cypriots will start considering “other options” if no solution by year-end; European Parliament 20 Sept debate on DTR postponed. UNSG Ban met President Christofias 21 Sept at UNGA, reiterated support for reunification talks; 21 Sept met Turkish President Gül, urged Turkey to continue to work toward Cyprus agreement.


Cyprus

  |  1 Sep 2010

Unchanged

Greek Cypriot President Christofias met Turkish Cypriot counterpart Eroğlu 10 Aug, 31 Aug to continue discussions on property chapter in continued reunification talks: no signs of progress, agreed to meet 3 times before 14 Sept UNGA. Turkey PM Erdoğan 15 Aug reaffirmed 2010 as Turkey’s deadline for negotiations, Eroğlu 16 Aug said end of year would be “turning point” and possible “parting of the ways”. Christofias 24 Aug warned of “disunity” on Cyprus issue on Greek Cypriot domestic front.


Cyprus

  |  1 Aug 2010

Unchanged

On 20 July’s 36th anniversary of Turkish army’s intervention, Greek Cypriot leaders criticised “occupation of Cyprus”, expressed commitment to reunification; Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu called for agreement by end of 2010. Turkish deputy PM Cicek 20 July warned if forced to choose between EU and Turkish Cypriots, Turkey will choose latter; that if no settlement by end-year, “each side will go its own way”. Eroglu and Greek Cypriot President Christofias met 6 times over month to discuss property issue; UNSG Special Adviser in Cyprus Downer 8 July said talks going “fine”. Media confirmed UNSG report on Cyprus reunification talks to come Nov.

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