The latest talks aimed at reunifying Cyprus have ended without a deal.
The Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities have been split since conflict erupted in 1974. A UN buffer zone separates the two sides.
A round of UN-backed talks in Switzerland, which began in January, were seen as the best chance to move towards a two-state federation.
But despite some signs of progress, the negotiations were deadlocked and called off early on Friday.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters: “Despite the very strong commitment and engagement of all the delegations and the different parties… the Conference on Cyprus was closed without an agreement being reached.”
The admission came hours after he flew in to meet Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, and after US Vice-President Mike Pence had phoned the leaders urging them to “seize this historic opportunity”.
At the start of the talks, Mr Guterres had said he was hopeful a deal was “very close”.
One of the sticking points was over whether 30,000 Turkish troops could stay on after reunification.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said removing them was “out of the question” unless Greece committed to removing its 1,000 troops.
Another obstacle to the deal was the question over how to return property to tens of thousands of Cypriots who fled their homes when Turkey invaded the north of the island in 1974.
That invasion was in response to a military coup on the island which was backed by the Athens government.
The UK, Greece and Turkey currently maintain Cyprus’s security.
The two British military bases on the island would not have been affected by the negotiations.
Troubled history of Cyprus – key dates
- 1955 – Greek Cypriots seeking unification with Greece begin guerrilla war against British rule
- 1960 – Independence from British rule leads to power-sharing between Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority
- 1963 and 1964 – inter-communal violence
- 1974 – Cypriot President, Archbishop Makarios, deposed in a coup backed by Greece’s military junta – Turkey sends troops to the island, who then occupy a third of it in the north
- 1983 – Rauf Denktash declares breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognised only by Turkey
- 2004 – The internationally-recognised Cyprus joins the EU, after a UN peace plan was backed by Turkish Cypriots but rejected by Greek Cypriots
Meet the completely tattooed Brazilian who removed his nose, added horns and reshaped his ears to resemble an ‘orc’
UK’s PM Johnson in talks with US on COVID-19 travel corridor
Tunisia reassures EU, UN, Turkey after its president froze parliament
Three Armenian soldiers killed in clashes with Azerbaijan: Armenian defense ministry
Truck in India rams into laborers sleeping on highway, killing 18
Europe5 days ago
French protesters reject bill requiring vaccine passes
Latin America7 days ago
Haitian president’s hometown holds funeral amid violence
Middle East5 days ago
Iran rejects UN rights chief’s ‘false accusations’ over water protests
North America6 days ago
Canada’s women aim to plant flag again in Olympic swimming despite pandemic
Europe6 days ago
Vatican reveals property holdings for first time in transparency drive
Health5 days ago
Potential Role of ‘Junk DNA’ Sequence in Aging, Cancer
Asia5 days ago
Volunteer collapses from heat at Tokyo Olympics
Latin America5 days ago
Russia sends COVID-19 aid to Cuba