Britain has sent Boris Johnson to Geneva to support the Cyprus peace talks, aimed at ending the decades-long division of the island, the Foreign Office said.The strategically located island in the eastern Mediterranean, a former British colony, was split after a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. For the first time in more than a decade, Greek and Turkish Cypriots plan to submit maps to the United Nations detailing their proposals on territorial boundaries between constituent states in a two-zone federation.
“I welcome the courage and commitment shown by both sides” Johnson said in a statement. “The talks in Geneva on the Cyprus settlement offer both sides a unique opportunity to find a solution.”
Britain was willing to help in any way it could, he added. Talks started on Thursday and resume today. Britain believes the chances of a framework agreement of substance have increased now that the Turkish prime minister, Binali Yıldırım, has also agreed to attend. Turkey has always said it would only be represented at such a senior level at the conference if there was serious progress.
13/1/17 We can work it out! Today, Boris Johnson hailed real progress.
14/1/17 No solution yet, but people are far from depressed. Erdogan does not wish to withdraw all Turkish troops. “It’s going to be difficult,” said a small business owner. “The issue of security, the role the guarantor powers will play, is perhaps the most difficult issue of all but we are going to come back together again. We are going to unite.”