Europe in the World

Eastern Promises Project

Cyprus talks at a critical juncture - Is reunification within reach by year’s end? A business perspective

22 November 2016

The recent meeting of the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci, in Switzerland, marked an intensification of the settlement talks aimed at reunifying Cyprus after almost five decades. The two reconvened in Switzerland on 20 November to continue their deliberations with a view to paving the way for a final phase of talks with the participation of the guarantor powers. However, as we know, the negotiations broke down on 21 November, with both sides still far apart and no date set for a new round of talks.

A solution to the Cyprus problem would bring about a new climate of stability and security on the island and the broader region and is expected to significantly enhance the Cypriot economy, attracting new levels of foreign investment. Development of economic ties between the two communities and the new infrastructure projects, which are likely to follow, would be beneficial for both communities, improving employment rates and the competitiveness of Cyprus economy. Furthermore, a solution would positively affect Turkey-Greece, as well as Turkey-EU relations, and enable much needed cooperation in the region. Among others things, it could lead to the exploitation and exportation of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe in the most feasible and economically viable way. Following the crash of the two-day session, Fikri Toros, President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, offered his insights into the current settlement process and outlined how a solution could be an economic win-win for all Cypriots, for the region and beyond.

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