Divided Cyprus takes small steps towards reconciliation as the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders reach an agreement to revive negotiations. Under UN-hosted talks the two sides approved a timetable that would address day to day problems as well as thornier political subjects.
The deadlock in Cyprus is threatening Turkey’s bid to join the European Union. EU leaders have warned Turkey it risks a suspension in its accession talks unless it opens it ports and airports to Greek Cypriot traffic.
Greek Cypriots represent Cyprus in the EU and could use their veto to prevent Turkey from joining the bloc. The proces of reunification of the island, divided for 32 years, has been struggling to survive since 2004 when a UN-backed plan was rejected by Greek Cypriots. Analysts caution that major difficulties still lie ahead, recalling a string of previous failures to reach a deal. Work is to start at the end of July.