Cyprus: Gathering Storm

The troubled island of Cyprus still figures on the list of unresolved conflicts. But letting the problems rest in the Mediterranean sun may soon cease to be an option. The European Union may decide to admit the Republic of Cyprus which governs the south of the island. This could have serious implications way beyond the tourist resorts.

The World Today
Published 1 March 2001 Updated 26 October 2020 4 minute READ

Clement Dodd

Professorial associate, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

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.

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