Negotiations at the Conference on Cyprus have run into the early hours of Friday morning as hard bargaining continues over the draft strategic agreement tabled by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday.
The draft proposal refers to the key chapters on security, territory, property, governance and the rights of Turkish Nationals resident in Cyprus in the event of reunification. Also included was a recommendation that the two Cypriot community leaders, the guarantor countries, Turkey, Greece and the UK, and the EU as observer, should discuss a ‘sunset clause’ which relates to a final date for when Turkey withdraws its troops.
Cyprus Weekly reports that, so far, no agreement had been reached yet.
As of late Thursday evening, sources confirmed to the Cyprus Weekly that there was a draft, but that they had not reached an agreement.
Turkey had hardened its position, having previously demanded that it wanted a firm commitment from the Greek Cypriots regarding domestic issues, by asking for 1,800 soldiers to remain permanently stationed in Cyprus. It declined to discuss a review of troops or a sunset clause – a red line for Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriots have offered only a part of the area of Guzelyurt/Morphou that Anastasiades wants to see returned.
Last night, UNSG Guterres hosted a dinner for all the heads of delegations in what is seen as a last ditch effort before he and the delegations leave this morning. Guterres’ presence is seen as critical, as he broke the impasse during his first visit last Friday, but the focus in the negotiations had dissipated until his return yesterday.