* Foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey, Britain weigh in
(Updates with maps submitted)
By Michele Kambas and Tom Miles
GENEVA, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Leaders of Cyprus's ethnic Greek
and Turkish communities exchanged maps outlining rival proposals
for territorial boundaries on Wednesday in a groundbreaking move
diplomats hope could form part of a deal ending decades of
Presented, submitted and then sealed in a United Nations
vault, territorial adjustments form an integral part of solving
the decades-old Cyprus conflict which has kept Greece and Turkey
at loggerheads and obstructs Turkey's membership bid to the
Rival sides did not disclose detail. Both maps will form the
basis for more intensive discussions on defining boundaries.
"Never before have we had an exchange of maps, or a
presentation of maps, created by the delegations themselves,"
Espen Barth Eide, the United Nations envoy for Cyprus, said
before the handover.
Eide said the talks, aimed at creating a bizonal state with
some form of shared central administration, were "on track". The
island has been split since Turkish forces invaded in 1974 in
response to a short-lived coup by Greek Cypriot militants
seeking union with Greece.
"We have dealt with some of the most difficult issues. We
have touched upon almost all of them, we have solved many of
them and we are close to resolving some other issues," said
Emotions still run high over over issues such as territorial
exchange and restoration of property lost on both sides as the
island was partitioned amid bloodshed in 1974.
Diplomats say Greek Cypriot leader and President Nicos
Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, two
moderates, have a unique opportunity to settle a dispute which
has dragged on for decades.
The foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey and Britain,
guarantor powers of Cyprus's independence, were scheduled in
Geneva on Thursday to discuss security parameters of any deal.
Turkey has 30,000 troops in northern Cyprus. Their presence
will be strongly contested by the Greek side, which says a deal
is not possible without them pulling out.
The Greek Cypriots want the guarantor system dismantled,
calling it an anachronism which could keep the island under the
perpetual influence of Turkey. Turkish Cypriots, fearful of past
experiences since the 1960s when they were targeted by Greek
Cypriot nationalists, want Turkish guarantees to continue.
Any adjustment would modify the existing ceasefire boundary
splitting Cyprus east to west and limit territory under Turkish
Cypriot control from about 36 percent to just under 30 percent.
Past peace negotiations have reached a ballpark range of
between 28.2 and 29.2 percent of Cypriot territory remaining
under Turkish Cypriot control.
There are about 800,000 Greek Cypriots and 220,000 Turkish
Greek Cypriots want an arrangement which would see the
maximum possible number of their internally displaced returning
to their homes under Greek Cypriot control.
The 1974 invasion uprooted 165,000 Greek Cypriots, while
about 40,000 Turkish Cypriots were displaced in intercommunal
violence in the 1960s and a population transfer in 1975.
Property ownership in Cyprus is well defined and virtually
impossible to dispute, a legacy of Britain's Lord Kitchener who
established the country's land registry more than a century ago.
(Editing by Ralph Boulton)
Datafeed and UK data supplied by NBTrader and Digital Look.
While London South East do their best to maintain the high quality of the information displayed on this site,
we cannot be held responsible for any loss due to incorrect information found here. All information is provided free of charge, 'as-is', and you use it at your own risk.
The contents of all 'Chat' messages should not be construed as advice and represent the opinions of the authors, not those of London South East Limited, or its affiliates.
London South East does not authorise or approve this content, and reserves the right to remove items at its discretion.