Talks aimed at ending the four-decade Cyprus conflict have collapsed
The diplomatic breakdown in the Swiss Alps reportedly followed a stormy final session marred by yelling and high drama.
Refusing to elaborate on the reasons behind the failure, UN chief Antonio Guterres, who had flown in to press both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders to reach a deal, told journalists early on Friday:
“I would not want to isolate one issue in particular, it is obvious that the two delegations were still too wide apart regarding a certain number of issues, and this is why an agreement was not possible.”
Security arrangements, however, for a united Cyprus are thought to have been the biggest stumbling block, with both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots refusing to agree to the withdrawal of Ankara’s 35,000 plus troops.
Nicos Christodoulides, spokesman for the Greek Cypriot government, said Turkey had refused to relinquish its intervention rights on Cyprus or the presence of troops on the island.
Efforts to reunite Cyprus have failed since the Turkish army invaded the island in a 1974 following an attempted coup by Greek Cypriots seeking union with Greece.
Diplomats say that Cyprus should be much simpler to resolve than many other situations where the United Nations hopes for peace, such as the bloody and complex wars in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, South Sudan, Libya, or the Korean peninsula.