Now or Never in Cyprus

Cyprus is back on the international agenda, with leaders of the island’s rival Greek and Turkish communities engaged in intense negotiations to resolve the divided country’s status. While the international community is, not surprisingly, tired of dealing with the issue, which has dragged on since 1974, major players like the US and the EU cannot afford another failure.

ANKARA – Cyprus is back on the international agenda, with leaders of the island’s rival Greek and Turkish communities engaged in intense negotiations to resolve the divided country’s status. But, although new talks are underway, the international community is, not surprisingly, tired of dealing with the issue. After all, the Cyprus conflict has dragged on since 1974, wearing out United Nations Secretary-Generals and special representatives of all sorts, as well as bringing down governments in both Greece and Cyprus.

In 2004, the European Union, the United States, and a good part of the international community invested considerable energy in trying to resolve the conflict once and for all. Then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his team drafted a plan, which Turkey’s government took very significant political risks in supporting. The government convinced the Turkish Cypriots to make a leap of faith and vote in favor of the Annan plan in order to reunite the island.

Regrettably, the Greek Cypriot leadership at that time actively campaigned against the UN plan. Consequently, whereas 65% of Turkish Cypriots voted in favor of the plan when it was put to a vote on the island, 76% of Greek Cypriots rejected it. Worse yet, Greek Cyprus joined the EU literally days after it spurned the will of the international community, while the EU reneged on its promises to end the Turkish community’s isolation if it supported Annan’s plan.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/3sVCqg9;
  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
  3. Agents are bidding on at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

  4.  An inside view of the 'AknRobotics' Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now