Cyprus leaders hope for breakthrough in last day of talks | News | DW | 21.11.2016
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Cyprus leaders hope for breakthrough in last day of talks

Leaders of the divided island have met for a final day of talks to discuss unification. If negotiations succeed, a two-state system could be put up for public vote in 2017.

The Greek and Turkish leaders of Cyprus were hoping on Monday for a breakthrough in the second and final day of negotiations to determine the future of the divided country. The two sides were looking to lay the groundwork for a federal government with two states.

The Greek south side and Turkish north side of Cyprus have been at odds since a 1974 Greek coup attempt was followed by a Turkish invasion of the island nation.

Greek leader Nikos Anastasiades and his Turkish counterpart Mustafa Akinci were due to discuss on Monday which territory each side will control. Anastasiades hopes to return Turkish-occupied territory to its former Greek residents while Akinci has raised concerns that Turkish Cypriots will be uprooted by the handover.

What's next?

If negotiations succeed, they will be followed by a conference involving the Greek and Turkish governments, as well as the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN) and former colonial power, the UK.

A final issue to be discussed is the security framework of the island. Currently, the militaries of three countries - Greece, Turkey and Britain - are allowed to intervene to protect Cyprus in the event of a threat.

Cyprus is an EU member state, but only the government of the Greek south is internationally recognized. The aim of both sides is to unite the island under a federal system, with the Turkish and Greek states represented by a single government.

Results of the conference would be put up to public vote in a referendum next year.

ae/ksb (dpa, AP)

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