Must stick to rules for Cyprus talks to continue

Must stick to rules for Cyprus talks to continue

Cyprus' president said Wednesday that he's ready to pick up where talks aimed at reunifying the ethnically divided island left off earlier this week after hitting an impasse and throwing the 18-month old peace process into question.

Anastasiades revealed that the two leaders were close on the percentage of territory to remain under Turkish Cypriot administration in a future federation, with Akinci suggesting 29.2 percent and the Greek Cypriots proposing 28.2 percent.

Mustafa Akinci accused negotiators from the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot side of making unfair demands for territory from the Turkish Cypriots.

Christodoulides said President Nicos Anastadiades would hold a televised address later Wednesday to explain the situation.

Over half of those polled (86%) have said that they no longer believe a solution can be reached in 2016, while 14 per cent believe a solution can be reached this year.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

Turkish Cypriots made up just 18 percent of the island s population in 1974, but they now control more than a third of its territory.

Turkish Cypriots will forge their own path if Greek Cypriots do not return to the negotiating table by the new year, the country's prime minister said Friday.

He also claimed the Greek Cypriot side never regarded Turkish Cypriots as equal partners.

"Despite their best efforts, they have not been able to achieve the necessary further convergences on criteria for territorial adjustment that would have paved the way for the last phase of the talks", United Nations spokesman Aleem Siddique said.

He stated that the Turkish Cypriot side said "yes" to the Annan Plan in 2004, while the Greek Cypriot side said "no" to the scheme, then joined the EU.

"Especially in a region and in a world marked by increasing tension, they must not let this historic opportunity slip", Dujarric added.

Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders have said they are open to resume peace talks after they stalled again this week.

Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Ban shares the leaders' disappointment over the deadlocked talks, and "urges the leaders to continue their efforts in line with their shared commitment to do their utmost in order to reach a settlement in 2016".