Overcoming ethnic divides: is Cyprus ready for success?



By Yeshim Harris-Feridun and Katie Clerides

What really accounts for the transformation of conflict into peace? What are the vital ingredients for change? The history of positive outcomes over the past few decades – whether it is the Nuclear Arms Treaties between superpowers or the examples like Northern Ireland and South Africa seems to indicate that certain type of leadership, combined with the ripeness of the process, gives peace a massively improved chance in even the most entrenched conflicts.

While disastrous ‘hot’ wars rage in Syria and beyond, bringing devastation to millions in the Middle East, Cyprus is in the ‘deep freeze’. With a long history of attrition going back to the 1960s, countless efforts for resolving the problems of this divided island in the Mediterranean have collapsed. Hopes were raised with the Annan Plan in 2004, but it became another dead end. As the heap of unsuccessful attempts grew, public trust plummeted and energy faded.

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