As 2016 began, Cyprus entered its 52nd year as a politically separated nation and its 42nd year as a physically divided country with a permanent solution to end these divisions still proving to be elusive.

Long under the auspices of the United Nations, unification talks throughout 2014 and into the early part of 2015 had gone through periods of stalemate, suspension and missed opportunities. Although both sides insisted that “convergences” on the difficult issues of EU affairs, property, governance, economics, and citizenship had been reached, no apparent actual agreement acceptable to both sides was forthcoming. This resulted in a sense of pessimism surrounding the stalled negotiations and at the time led some to question the ability of the two community leaders, Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, to reach a comprehensive agreement.

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