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 careful diplomacy to explore potential common ground between parties for return to formal talks.

Prospects of new round of negotiations between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots for settlement remained uncertain. UN Sec-Gen’s Personal Envoy to Cyprus Maria Angela Holguin 11 March returned to island for second round of meetings with Republic of Cyprus President Christodoulides and “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” (“TRNC”) leader Ersin Tatar, as well as political parties, civil society, and religious representatives from both communities. Holguin 16 March called for “transforming the hardships of the past into the foundation for a sustainable future”, while indicating that she was carrying on with her mission to explore whether common ground for negotiations existed. Meanwhile, in reference to 1974 Turkish invasion of island, Turkish President Erdoğan 19 March said “perhaps if we had pushed south […] there would be no more south and north, and Cyprus would be completely ours”, triggering strong rebuke from Republic of Cyprus and Greece. Christodoulides 21 March said that positive steps regarding enhancement of Türkiye’s relations with EU was dependent on “concrete progress” on Cyprus issue. 

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