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 maintained her search for common ground between parties, aiming for return to formal talks.

Ahead of expiration of UN Sec-Gen’s Personal Envoy to Cyprus Maria Holguin Cuellar’s mandate in early June, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar 5 April met UN Sec-Gen António Guterres in New York City, after which Tatar reiterated his scepticism toward envoy by saying he did not believe Cuellar could find common ground between sides; Tatar urged all parties to recognise existence of “two peoples, two democratic states, two authorities” and also warned against flare-up of tensions on island, saying “little misunderstanding” such as accidental shooting of Turkish soldier could “turn the situation into a new Gaza”. Republic of Cyprus next day described Tatar’s remarks as incompatible with future of their “mutual” homeland. Republic of Cyprus FM Constantin Kombos 11 April voiced readiness to resume formal talks but said Turkish Cypriots and Türkiye had imposed new conditions. Holguin 29 April visited Belgian capital Brussels for meetings with high level EU officials, including European Council President Charles Michel. Meanwhile, EU Council’s declaration 18 April hinged enhancement of ties with Türkiye in part on progress on Cyprus issues; Ankara same day accused EU of “reductionism” in tying broader cooperation to Cyprus. 

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