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Cyprus

CrisisWatch Cyprus

Unchanged Situation

Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders agreed to open border crossings, while UN continued diplomatic engagement with Cypriot parties in hope of scheduling new international conference. In show of goodwill, Republic of Cyprus President Anastasiades and “TRNC” President Ersin Tatar 2 June confirmed agreement on reopening all crossing points on island from 4 June onward; crossings between north and south had been essentially closed since Feb 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Anastasiades and Tatar 22 June held separate meetings with U.N. Special Envoy on Cyprus Dispute Jane Holl Lute as part of efforts to search for common ground and assess prospects for second 5+1 conference. Tensions at sea continued, notably when Turkish Coast Guard 22 June blocked and reportedly boarded Greek Cypriot fishing boat off Dipkarpaz town (north-eastern part of Cyprus). Turkey issued numerous advisories for military drills, including in area south of Dipkarpaz 1-18 June, in Gulf of Morphou (northern part of Cyprus) on 23 June and south of Dipkarpaz 1-16 July. Following 30 May parliamentary elections in Republic of Cyprus — which saw ruling Democratic Rally party claim 27.8% of the votes, marking party’s worst election result in 40 years — Tatar 1 June noted hardline forces favouring unitary state were gaining ground in south. At 24-25 June summit, European Council said it remained “fully committed to the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of a bicommunal, bi-zonal federation with political equality”; Turkish ministry of foreign affairs 25 June responded that it is impossible for EU “to make a positive contribution to the Cyprus issue” as long as bloc “ignores Turkish Cypriots and disregards their equal rights”.
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Divided Cyprus: Coming to Terms on an Imperfect Reality

To avoid another failed effort at federal reunification in the new round of Cyprus negotiations, all sides should break old taboos and discuss all possible options, including independence for Turkish Cypriots within the European Union.

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Op-Ed / Europe & Central Asia

New Hope for Peace in Cyprus

Originally published in The Majalla

Leveraging Resolution

Originally published in IP Journal