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    A man passes with a bicycle outside of a Greek Cypriot guard post with Cyprus', right, and Greece' flags painted on the wall in central divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017

    UN Admits Collapse of Its Shuttle Diplomacy in Cyprus Settlement

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    UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide announced on Friday halting shuttle diplomacy aimed at reaching agreement between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to Eide, after their meeting on May 17, he has been engaged in shuttle diplomacy between President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and President of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Mustafa Akinci aimed at determining the modalities by which the outstanding issues could be finalized during the next talks in Geneva.

    "Unfortunately, despite serious efforts to overcome [the two leaders'] differences regarding the modalities for meeting in Geneva, the leaders were unable to find common ground. Without a prospect for common ground, there is no basis for continuing this shuttle diplomacy," Eide said in a statement.

    The UN special adviser added that he had informed Akinci and Anastasiades accordingly as well as briefed the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council on the taken decision. Eide also noted that he would address UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to seek his advice on further actions.

    Earlier on Friday, Eide told Sputnik that the next round of Cyprus settlement talks may be carried out in mid-June. The official added that referendum on Cyprus reunification was possible and both communities might vote for a federal state if Anastasiades could assure Greek Cypriots that a security solution had been found. Eide also told Sputnik that the UN-backed constitutional guarantees in the sphere of security might satisfy both sides to the conflict.

    In the last UN-backed referendum held in 2004, the reunification was backed by 65 percent of the Turkish Cypriots and rejected by 76 percent of the Greek Cypriots.

    The Mediterranean island of Cyprus has been partitioned since 1974, when Turkey occupied the island's north, later proclaiming the (TRNC). Turkey maintains military presence in the TRNC, which is only recognized by Ankara as an independent state.


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