Another Crossroads in the Cyprus Conflict

New Negotiations, Hope for Change and

Tough Challenges Ahead

UN-sponsored inter-communal negotiations for a comprehensıve settlement of the Cyprus problem are going on for decades with breakdowns and under different leaderships from both sides. A new round of negotiations with the mediation of the UN Good Offices is due to start soon. The leaders from both sides, the President of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC)[i] Nicos Anastasiades and the President of Northern Cyprus Derviş Eroǧlu, started informal talks in November 2013, but they could not agree on the wording of a joint statement that has so far adjourned the start of formal negotiations[ii].

This article offers an analysis of current issues and long-standing complexities in the peace process that are crucial to understand the importance of the approaching negotiations in Cyprus. The first section analyses the efforts in resolving the Cyprus conflict in the aftermath of the 2004 referendum on the Annan Plan and EU membership. The section particularly focuses on the shifting domestic dynamics away from the Plan on both sides of the island between 2008 and 2012. The following section turns to discuss a number of issues that would be key areas of concern, or – if exploited carefully- opportunities for cooperation for the new round of negotiations. The final section summarises the key points and discusses a number of lessons from the previous attempts at reaching a comprehensive settlement on the island that should guide both parties during the upcoming talks.

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