12 March 2004

Cyprus impasse

It appears that the Cyprus talks are effectively at an impasse, with the two sides able to agree only on a change of date for the forthcoming referendum on the agreement that they show little sign of reaching. If nothing comes of negotiations between the Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot sides, they will be joined by representatives of Greece and Turkey proper in Luzern, Switzerland. If an agreement is still not complete, UN Secretary General Kofi Anan will fill in the blanks. This will then go to the two Cypriot electorates on 20 April for their approval.

With the exception of the referendums, this all sounds reminiscent of the negotiations in Zürich and London that led to the failed Cyprus republic in 1960. One hopes that this time Cypriots as a whole will determine to make do with a less than perfect arrangement that might nevertheless be the best they can hope for.

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