Cyprus peace deal hangs in the balance


NICOSIA: Rival Cypriot leaders resume UN-backed talks Sunday aimed at resolving four decades of division on the Mediterranean island with hopes of a breakthrough high but a key territory dispute unsettled. Seen by experts as the last best chance to reunify Cyprus, the make-or-break discussions in Switzerland could lead to a multi-billion-euro deal or scupper prospects of solving one of the world’s longest-running political problems. “It can go either way since there are still substantial differences. But they are clearly in the final phase of the talks,” Hubert Faustmann, professor of history and political science at the University of Nicosia, told AFP. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops occupied its northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece. Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akinci spent five days this month in the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin discussing potential territorial readjustments – seen by analysts as the trickiest issue to resolve.



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