U.N., E.U. presidency step up pressure to reunite Cyprus

January 20, 2012

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(AP/Petros Karadjias)
A Turkish Cypriot waves the flag of the Republic of Cyprus, which has been split since 1974.

Compared to other seemingly intractable political struggles, the one between Turkish and Greek Cypriots has received little attention in the last few years. But that’s about to change.

This summer, the Greek Cypriots are poised to take over the rotating E.U. presidency. In reaction, Turkey is threatening to freeze ties with the E.U. if Cyprus assumes control without a deal to reunify the island. The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey took over the northern part of the island in response to a Greek military coup that aimed to make the island a part of Greece.

Recently, the United Nations has stepped up efforts to move the two parties toward reunification. In the next few days, Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders will meet with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss a possible deal.

Endy Zemenides, the executive director of the Hellenic American Leadership Council, tells Worldview what these latest developments might mean for Cyprus.