Cypriots cautious over UK land plan | News | Al Jazeera

Cypriots cautious over UK land plan

Britain offers to give up territory on divided island in bid to restarting peace talks.

    The island of Cyprus is ethnically divided into the Turkish north and Greek south [AFP]

    "What Britain can do if it wants to effectively help this process is to exert influence and encourage Turkey to be more accomodating on the talks," he said.

    Talat said it was "not possible to make an extensive assessment on the subject" without further discussion.

    He added: "This [British offer] could probably be understood as an initiative to put an end to the lack of will on this subject on the part of the Greek Cypriot side".

    Ethnic divisions

    Britain, which was once a colonial power on the island, offered on Tuesday to give up two pockets of militarily strategic, undeveloped real estate in the south of the island.

    The land was split in a Turkish invasion, triggered by a brief Greek inspired coup, in 1974.

    The offer is contingent on a long-elusive peace deal between Cyprus's estranged Greek and Turkish Cypriots engaged in reunification negotiations for more than a year.

    It was made to the United Nations, which is overseeing the peace talks.

    Cyprus's ethnic division is one factor affecting Turkey's bid to join the European Union, and is a source of tension between Nato allies Greece and Turkey.

    Britain's latest offer to hand over territory is similar to one made in 2003, when a UN reunification blueprint was being discussed by the two sides.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The State of Lebanon

    The State of Lebanon

    Amid deepening regional rivalries what does the future hold for Lebanon's long established political dynasties?

    Exploited, hated, killed: The lives of African fruit pickers

    Exploited, hated, killed: Italy's African fruit pickers

    Thousands of Africans pick fruit and vegetables for a pittance as supermarkets profit, and face violent abuse.