Cyprus Reunification Talks, ‘Close, but Not Close Enough,’ Fail

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“We came very close,” Mustafa Akinci, the president of Northern Cyprus, said.

“Close, but not close enough,” the United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide, who had practiced months of shuttle diplomacy in hopes the talks would yield a peace deal, wrote in a post on Twitter.

Officials involved in the 10 days of difficult negotiations at a Swiss resort said the failed talks would not be the end of the road for peace on Cyprus. But there are now questions about the goal of future negotiations.

Turkey has indicated it would consider settling the decades-old problem in ways other than reunifying Cyprus as a federation, which has been the objective of peace talks for 43 years.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey wrote on his personal Twitter account that the result showed the “impossibility” of a federal Cyprus.

“We will continue efforts for a settlement within different parameters,” Mr. Cavusoglu said.

It was unclear what those parameters would be. Suggestions of a formal partition of the island or Turkey’s outright annexation of the north have swirled for years. Mr. Akinci said Turkish Cypriots would now focus on strengthening the north’s ties with other parts of the world. Only Turkey recognizes the breakaway north.

“Turkey will use to the end all of its rights stemming from international laws to protect the rights of the northern Cyprus Turkish state and of our brothers living there,” Turkey’s prime minister, Binali Yildirim, said.

In declaring the talks’ collapse early Friday, Antonio Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, left the door open for “other initiatives” to resolve the decades of ethnic separation on Cyprus.

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