The current round of United Nations promoted proximity negotiations between the two sides in Cyprus is on the point of breaking down, but this is hardly news. UN negotiations have been going on, and breaking down for almost forty years. They developed a new momentum when the 1974 Turkish military intervention led to the emergence of a new Turkish Cypriot state ruling about one third of the island, but no result ensued.
Nor has there generally been anything much more than intermittent incidents of minor violence to catch the attention of the world. In recent years the only major alarm followed the Greek Cypriots’ announced intention in 1997 to import Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles. In response to Turkish hostility, these were lodged in Crete. Interest has since generally ﬂagged.