The Business Monitor International (BMI) Research, part of the Fitch group, has said that the collapse of the Cyprus negotiations in July 2017 has reduced the likelihood of a permanent reunification agreement in the near term from slim to extremely remote.
A BMI analysis published on Thursday said the South Cyprus 2018 presidential elections were unlikely to be followed by a breakthrough in the Cyprus talks.
After a critical week-long session of intensive multilateral negotiations in Switzerland, the talks collapsed on July 7.
“While some reports indicated that the participants were very close to reaching a deal, following more than two years of negotiations overall, others indicated that the talks descended into an acrimonious yelling match,” the report said.
“Officials involved in the talks insisted that the path to a deal in 2017 is not completely closed, and a resumption of negotiations is possible in October or November, but we believe the chances of a deal have been reduced from slim to extremely remote.”
The BMI said that after the collapse of the negotiations, all attention in the South had turned to the 2018 presidential elections, which would impact on the talks.
President Nicos Anastasiades was likely to announce by early October whether he will stand again at the presidential election.
“While polling is limited, conditions appear to be in favour of Anastasiades,” BMI said.
The report said that when the reunification talks collapsed, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci accused Anastasiades of prioritising his re-election over a solution to the Cyprus problem.
“This could mean that Anastasiades’ re-election could give him a mandate to push on with talks, but the outlook has certainly deteriorated from late 2016 when it looked like a deal might be reached in 2017.”
Anastasiades insists that the election will play no part in the peace process, but “our core view is that until the next president is chosen, the likelihood of a breakthrough in negotiations is very unlikely”, the report said.