Cyprus reunification talks end sans solution

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Nicosia—UN-mediated peace talks on the Cyprus issue ended here without a solution Monday after negotiations failed to outline concrete steps to resolve the dispute, a diplomatic source told media.
“The uncompromising attitude” of the Greek Cypriot and the Greek side resulted in the failure of the reunification talks, the source said. The Turkish Cypriot side did not see “good intention” from the Greek side, the source added.
The two-day process was overseen by UN Special Envoy on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide in an effort to resolve one of the world’s longest-running political dilemmas.
Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders were trying to reach a final agreement that could see the island reunified after four decades. During the current round of Swiss talks, territorial changes were not discussed since no common ground could be found to continue discussions on the issue, the source added.
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades met in Mont Pelerin for the first round earlier this month. They returned Sunday to tackle territorial adjustments needed for an anticipated two-state federation; however, the two leaders declined to shake hands for photographers at the start of their latest talks.
The issue of territory was seen as one of the most intractable on the agenda. Although the two men were believed to be close to agreement on the amount of territory to be run by the Turkish Cypriot government, there were still disputes about what towns and villages should be included.
Any agreement will mean redrawing existing boundaries and potentially moving thousands of residents from their homes, 42 years after many were displaced when the island was first divided.
If a deal could be reached on territorial changes, negotiators are expected to announce a date for a final summit between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders and three other states involved in the process: Turkey, Greece, and the U.K.
That meeting would focus on security, particularly the presence of 30,000 Turkish troops that remain on the island after a 1974 military coup was followed by Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power. Reunification discussions resumed in May 2015, and both sides have repeatedly expressed optimism that a solution would be found by the end of this year.
Once a final agreement is reached, it would be put to both communities in a referendum. A peace deal was approved by Turkish Cypriots in 2004 but rejected by Greek Cypriot voters.—Agencies