Talks on Cyprus hanging in the balance

Talks on Cyprus hanging in the balance

The future of peace negotiations between rival ethnic leaders on Cyprus could depend on two separate meetings that Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will have on Thursday with the United Nations special envoy, Espen Barth Eide.

Anastasiades and Akinci met on Wednesday at the old Nicosia airport but judging from reports and the statements made by both men, not much progress was made.

The Turkish-Cypriot side is reportedly seeking to make a settlement contingent on the issue of oil and gas drilling and exploration off the island’s coast.

To this end, Turkish Cypriots are calling for a conference in June and a suspension of gas exploration scheduled in Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in July.

This will probably lead to a stalemate as it is highly unlikely that Nicosia will accept such demands.

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