The project of reunifying Cyprus, an island divided since 1974, long in stasis, has become dramatically more difficult in recent years. Amid broader regional tensions and increasing militarisation of the eastern Mediterranean, relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots have soure, and prospects for a comprehensive settlement have dimmed. Through its field research, analytical reports and advocacy, Crisis Group aims to identify ways to mitigate the damage of a hardening divide, inform policymakers on both sides of the island and regional actors about shared concerns, recommend ways to stop frictions from heightening further, and create mutual benefits.

CrisisWatch Cyprus

Unchanged Situation

UN personal envoy continued efforts to resume talks between parties ahead of mandate expiry and Hizbollah threatened to strike Cyprus should it support Israel’s war in Gaza.

Efforts to relaunch formal talks remained stalled. UN Sec Gen’s Personal Envoy Maria Holguin’s efforts to find common ground between Republic of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriot leadership for return to formal talks remained fruitless; during month, Türkiye and Turkish Cypriots appeared opposed to extension of Holguin’s mandate beyond 5 July, while Greece and Greek Cypriots appeared open to idea. Speaking at event marking 50th anniversary of Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Turkish Defence Minister Yaşar Güler 5 June called for two-state solution in Cyprus. Holguin 21 June said “no visit” to Cyprus was planned but that she would meet Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders separately outside Cyprus in coming weeks. Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly 27 June adopted resolution denouncing Türkiye and Turkish Cypriot leadership’s unilateral reopening of fenced-off area of Varosha city since Oct 2020 and calling for Varosha’s immediate return “to its lawful inhabitants”; Republic of Cyprus next day welcomed resolution.

Hizbollah threatened to strike Cyprus. Hizbollah in Lebanon 19 June threatened to strike Cyprus if it allowed Israel to use airports and ports to strike Gaza; Republic of Cyprus govt next day clarified “Cyprus is not involved, and will not be involved” in any military operations in Middle East. Turkish FM Hakan Fidan 24 June alleged Republic of Cyprus serves as military base for Israel’s operations in Gaza, warned of risk of regional escalation; Republic of Cyprus govt next day denied claims.

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