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Greek Cypriots demand TRNC surrenders town

The demand, which is a repetition of rhetoric that has been uttered countless times in the forty-year land dispute between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, looks likely to further complicate already teetering talks. Greek Cypriot Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos on Wendesday said Anastasiades will not concur to a solution until Guzelyurt is handed over, during a meeting with a delegation of Greek Cypriots who fled the town after an armed coup on the constitutional government sparked a Turkish military intervention in 1974. Delegation leader Charalambos Pittas, who submitted a petition to the government spokesman and the embassies of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council calling for pressure to be exerted on Turkey to pull out of Guzelyurt, said he believed that the negotiations were near a deadlock. Greek Cypriot parties earlier this month rejected the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) president Dervis Eroglu's road map for the peace talks agreed that the peace process was not ripe to move to a third phase of give-and-take.

Anastasiades stormed out of the last meeting with Eroglu on July 24 when Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot delegations met with each other in the UN-controlled Nicosia airport to discuss the next steps to solve the divided island's forty-year dispute.

While most of the meeting passed calmly, inside sources told reporters that Anastasiades had become enraged when Eroglu refused to accept certain proposed terms, raising his voice, slamming his fist and throwing his glasses across the room in anger.

Going against protocol, Anastasiades then reportedly lit a cigarette, ignoring warnings that it was illegal to do so. After a period of tension, Anastasiades then stormed out of the meeting, leaving both delegations behind.

Shocked UN officials present in the meeting then requested both sides to avoid making any press statements following the incident. Talks are set to continue in the next scheduled meeting on September 2.

The United Nations Security Council extended the peace mission in Cyprus into next year as it acknowledged that a “comprehensive and durable settlement” had not been reached, all the while urging both Greek and Turkish Cypriots to continue their discussions “to reach decisive progress.”

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), which was established under UN Security Council to prevent a recurrence of fighting following intercommunal violence between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots resulting from the explusion of the Turkish Cypriots from the constitutional government by the then-president Archbishop Makarios in 1963, last week came under fire by Greek Cypriot officials for referring to the TRNC - which is only recognized by Turkey - in official documents that were leaked to the media.

The island of Cyprus has been divided into the Turkish Cypriot north and Greek Cypriot south since the Turkish military intervention in 1974. Turkish Cypriots later went on to declare the independence of the TRNC in 1983 after almost of decade of failed peace talks.

A previous attempt to reunite the island failed in 2004 when the vast majority of Greek Cypriots rejected a plan proposed by the then-UN secretary general Kofi Annan in a referendum prior to their entry into the European Union.

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