Cyprus and the Never-Ending Search for a Solution

New peace talks on reunifying Cyprus are due to be launched in early 2014. However, the failure by the two sides to agree on the wording of a joint Declaration outlining the basic principles for negotiations does not bode well. Cyprus has been divided for almost four decades, following the military intervention by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in response to a short-lived Greek-backed military coup on July 15, 1974. The conflict resulted in thousands of deaths and a mass population shift. The division of the island has cost Cyprus both economically and politically. It continues to bring instability to the east Mediterranean and to create problems in NATO-EU relations, and has hobbled Turkey’s EU membership aspirations. Under the auspices of the United Nations there have been numerous efforts to reunite the island. Unfortunately, there has never been sufficient political will to change the status quo. After 40 years, all the issues have been discussed a thousand times over. Unfortunately, the high price for peace - namely the relinquishment of maximum goals - has proven impossible to obtain. If Cyprus is ever going to be reunited, the process needs to change. There needs to be a genuine commitment to reaching a compromise settlement, which has so far not been the case.

Authors: Amanda Paul