Cyprus reunification talks fail in Swiss Alps - Turkish FM

Fri 07 July 2017 11:20 GMT | 15:20 Local Time

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Talks to reunite the island of Cyprus ended here in failure early Friday, according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

"Unfortunately, the Cyprus talks in Crans-Montana failed despite all the efforts," Cavusoglu told reporters, according to Anadolu Agency. "It was the last conference and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also said he concluded this conference.”

Representatives from the EU, the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaderships, and the grantor nations of Turkey, Greece and the U.K., participated in the intense discussions that began at the end of last month.

If there would be a positive atmosphere, Cavusoglu said the prime ministers of the grantor nations would have been invited to the discussions in the Swiss Alps.

But Turkey now has to assess and decide its next steps to resolve the Cyprus issue, he said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday returned to Switzerland for the talks after leaving the Swiss resort Saturday have participated in earlier rounds of discussion.

Guterres returned at Cavusoglu's urging in an effort to speed up negotiations.

"The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, appeared before the press at 2.20 a.m.(0120GT) to express his disappointment that the intensive diplomatic efforts … had not yielded an agreement for the future of the Mediterranean island," the UN said in a statement.

Guterres was "deeply sorry" that "despite the very strong commitment of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, the guarantor power, the European Union and the United Nations Cyprus team, the Conference on Cyprus was concluded without an agreement being reached”.

The UN is seeking a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella that could also define the future of Europe's relations with Turkey, a key player in the conflict.

The Eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

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