Greek Cypriots hope election in north will help revive peace talks, says analystComments
Greek Cypriots are watching the outcome of the election in northern Cyprus closely.
According to analysts, there is a feeling that opposition challenger Mustafa Akinsi would revive stalled peace talks between the Turkish and Greek sides.
The discussions have been on hold since last October, when Greek Cypriots suspended their involvement in anger at perceived moves by Turkey to challenge their sovereign rights in exploring for natural gas.
“The Cyprus issue has repeatedly become the ground for political showdowns. But this time, the recently discovered energy sources may turn out to be a good opportunity for important concessions from all,” said Kyriakos Pierrides, a political commentator
Only Turkey recognises the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
The international community views the Greek Cypriot government in Nicosia as the legitimate government of the whole island.
The UN expects the reunification talks to resume next month.
“The Greek Cypriots feel that if Nicos Anastasiades and Eroglu go to the negotiating table again, progress will be slow. But things will be different if talks are held with Akinsi,” said political analyst Rallou Papageorgiou.
The limping talks have left Turkish Cypriots in political isolation and thousands of Cypriots, on both sides, internally displaced.
Euronews correspondent Stamatis Giannisis said: “Greek Cypriots are taking a great interest in this election. They hope that a victory by moderate Mustafa Akinsi will eventually accelerate the peace process which has stalled amid the presidency of incumbent leader Dervis Eroglu.”