22nd January 2016

Cypriot deal said to be within reach

Representatives of the Turkish Cypriots have lately expressed cautious optimism about the possibility of a re-unification of the divided island. Some go as far as suggesting March as the time of a deal´s arrival. EU representatives, including Jean-Claude Juncker, expect a solution in 6 months. Relationship between the two parts´ heads is good, Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci shook hands at the Davos WEF last week. UN-brokered negotiations have been going on since May 2015, 20 negotiation rounds have already taken place and progress was cited. Diplomats and academics remain cautious, though. They point out that until everything is agreed, nothing is. One of the main problems remains to be Greek Cypriots´ property in the North and its possible restitution. Also, the Turkish and Greek sides differ on the legal continuity of the future state. Both agree to a federation, but while the Greek Cypriots see the future state as the continuation of the actual Republic of Cyprus, an EU member, the Turkish Cypriots would like a brand new state. The Turkish military presence in the North and its refusal to officially recognize the Republic of Cyprus is also problematic. Also, Greek Cypriots already refused one re-unification plan in a referendum in 2004. However, hopes are high at the moment. Many see 2016 as the year the division, dating back to the 1974 attempted Greek coup and subsequent Turkish invasion, could end. Energy resources in Cypriot waters are a big motivation. According to President Anastasiades, they could be one response to EU´s energy security. For more, click here and here.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic