Reunification of Cyprus is on the Agenda
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, but now the possibility of reunification of Cyprus is on the agenda. Analysts say this time two sides are much closer to a breakthrough. According to the head of Greek Cyprus’ top business body, Christos Michaelides, on both sides in the island a majority of Cypriots want a solution. "Political, regional and economic parameters put together create a synergy that makes us really near to a solution this time," Michaelides told the Hurriyet Daily News.
Michaelides believes these regional factors, as well as the wish to enter the European Union, had made Turkey more willing than before to work for reunification. A reunited island will be favorable to Turkey as well provided there is a functioning solution, said Michaelides. "I don’t know whether this might sound a bit exaggerated, but Cyprus can be to Turkey what Hong Kong is to China. Cyprus is already a business center and it has intensely developed relations with so many countries," he said.
According to the Bangor Daily News, there are now several circumstances that may help the unification. Gwynne Dyer, an independent journalist, writes that for the Turkish-Cypriots, time is running out. There are only 120,000 of them, and they are already outnumbered by the Turkish immigrants, most of them ill-educated and unskilled. So the Turkish-Cypriots have good reason to seek a deal that gives them their own state within a reunited, federal Cyprus.
At the same time he notes presidents on both sides are willing to make a deal. Mustafa Akinci was elected president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and immediately asked to start reunification talks Nicos Anastasiades – who immediately agreed. Thus, there is much optimism about these talks.
It is well known that Cyprus issue is one of major problems in terms of Turkey’s EU path. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 20 expressed full support for the UN-sponsored peace talks in Cyprus, Al-Monitor reports. It is noted that in Ankara’s eyes, however, an eventual settlement means getting rid of a 41-year-old problem with all its economic and military burden. At the same time, Turkey is facing problems because its commercial routes in the region are blocked due to his regional policy. Thus, analysts say Ankara now hopes that Anastasiades will strike a deal with Akinci before his term ends in 2018, with a settlement plan put to the public in a referendum and adopted in 2016.
The readiness from all involved sides gives hope that the negotiations may give good results in the visible future.
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