UN Cyprus envoy says ending shuttle diplomacy bid for new peace conference


The United Nations' envoy for divided Cyprus said on Friday he was ending a shuttle diplomacy bid to continue peace talks in Geneva because rival sides had failed to agree on conditions.

Failure to agree on further negotiations effectively throws a two-year process of Cyprus peace talks into limbo. The island was split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup.

UN adviser Espen Barth Eide had been trying to get estranged Greek and Turkish Cypriots to move peace talks to Geneva, but the two sides disagreed on the format of negotiations.

"Unfortunately, despite serious efforts to overcome their differences regarding the modalities for meeting in Geneva, the leaders were unable to find common ground," Eide said in a statement released by the United Nations mission in Cyprus.

"Without a prospect for common ground, there is no basis for continuing this shuttle diplomacy." [Reuters]