Financial Times: President sees 2016 as crucial for Cyprus

NICOSIA, CYPRUS - JUNE 12: UN Peacekeeper, Guardsman, Garth McDowell (R), talks with Guardsman Daryl Shannon, from the 1st Battalion Irish Guardsman during a patrol of the buffer zone on June 12, 2014 in Nicosia, Cyprus. The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) was originally set up by the Security Council in 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. After the hostilities of 1974 and in the absence of a political settlement to the Cyprus problem, UNFICYP has remained on the island to supervise ceasefire lines, and maintain a buffer zone, (Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Images)

The president of Cyprus has voiced cautious hope that a deal to end 40 years of division on the island could be signed this year, but said vital issues including the withdrawal of Turkish troops were still to be resolved.

Nicos Anastasiades, leader of the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government, told the Financial Times that 2016 would be a “crucial year” for the island. As long as there was sufficient progress on issues such as territorial adjustments, security guarantees and troop withdrawals then “I do expect we could find a solution within this year”.

“In the event of a solution, Cyprus would be a model for coexistence between Muslims and Christians,” he added.

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