Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Republic of Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

Search Penny Hill Blogs

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive

Vincent Morelli
Section Research Manager

As 2013 opened, the Republic of Cyprus had just concluded what many agreed was a highly successful six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) that began on July 1, 2012. During that same six-month period, the republic continued to experience banking and fiscal crises not unlike what was taking place in Greece and elsewhere throughout Europe, resulting in the beginning of a prolonged negotiation with the EU for financial assistance and the implementation of a tough economic austerity program. The republic, at the beginning of 2013, also entered a period of national elections for a new government.

Lost in the conduct of the EU presidency, the trauma of the fiscal crisis, and the beginning of the electoral season was the negotiations with the Turkish Cypriots to try to resolve the political division of Cyprus and set reunification into motion. By May 2012, the U.N.-sponsored talks, which had endured two years (2010-2012) of intense negotiations including regular leadership meetings, technical level discussions, and five meetings with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Kimoon, had essentially reached a stalemate and were suspended. Republic of Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu were simply unable to find common ground or make enough necessary concessions on the difficult issues of governance, security, property rights, territory, and citizenship (mostly involving mainland Turks who had “settled” in the north), to craft a final settlement.

On February 27, 2013, Nicos Anastasiades of the DISY party, was sworn in as the new president of the Republic of Cyprus after having won office in a February 24 second-round presidential vote. Anastasiades, who himself had supported the 2004 Annan Plan for reunification, had partnered during the election cycle with the center-right DIKO party, which had expressed strong opposition to many of the positions reportedly taken by former President Christofias in the negotiations with the Turkish Cypriots.

With the election over, and Anastasiades committed to first addressing the government’s fiscal crisis, questions have been raised about how, when, and under what conditions the talks would restart. The Turkish Cypriots saw an opportunity to hopefully start over, under different conditions, with a newly elected government in the republic. However, Mr. Eroglu recently stated that “while there is a Greek Cypriot administration in the South, there is the TRNC state in the North. The Cyprus Republic was a state based on the partnership of Turkish and Greek Cypriots. We were ousted from this republic in 1963 and [now] we are seeking a bicommunal state based on bizonality, political equality and two founding states.” This view, which seems to set a new condition for resuming the talks, will not likely be shared by the Anastasiades government. Eroglu has also restated his belief that if the talks resume they must come with a deadline for conclusion, a demand previously rejected by the Christofias administration.

Legislation (H.Res. 676 and S.Con.Res. 47) had been introduced during the 112
th Congress calling for support for the republic. The Congress will likely continue to maintain its interest in a resolution of the Cyprus issue during the 113th Congress. This report provides a brief overview of the history of the negotiations, a more detailed review of the negotiations since 2008, and a description of some of the issues involved in the talks.

Date of Report: March 5, 2013
Number of Pages: 27
Order Number: R41136
Price: $29.95

To Order:

R41136.pdf  to use the SECURE SHOPPING CART


Phone 301-253-0881

For email and phone orders, provide a Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover card number, expiration date, and name on the card. Indicate whether you want e-mail or postal delivery. Phone orders are preferred and receive priority processing.