The venue couldn’t be more neutral – or more resonant. Nicosia Airport is within the UN-supervised no man’s land that bisects the island, the dilapidated Trident jet on the tarmac a ghostly reminder that this once thriving eastern Mediterranean hub has been disused and out of bounds since the war of 1974.
An apt setting, therefore, for today’s summit meeting at which the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, Mustafa Akinci, will try to advance the process of finally reunifying their divided country.
Will their efforts succeed where all the others have failed? And can they achieve a settlement acceptable to the Greek Cypriots, 72 per cent of whom rejected in a 2004 referendum the last concerted effort – the UN-sponsored Kofi Annan plan – to forge a new Cyprus from its two parts as a “bi-zonal, bi-communal federation”.
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