News / Economy

Cyprus UN Envoy: Economic Crisis Could Aid Peace Deal

The outgoing United Nations envoy to Cyprus Alexander Downer speaks to the media during a press conference in Nicosia, March 27, 2014.
The outgoing United Nations envoy to Cyprus Alexander Downer speaks to the media during a press conference in Nicosia, March 27, 2014.
Reuters
Cyprus's economic crisis could hasten a deal to end decades of enmity between the island's estranged Greeks and Turks, its outgoing United Nations envoy said on Thursday.
 
Reunification talks resumed between the two sides on February 11.
 
Peace prospects have come into sharper focus after the discovery of substantial natural gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean, and the need for routes to export the commodity to Europe. A deal in Cyprus could enable gas to be piped via Turkey, easing Europe's reliance on Russian gas.
 
“Do the math. If Cyprus were reunited it would lead to substantial investments to the island,” Alexander Downer, U.N. special envoy since 2008, told journalists.
 
Cyprus was split when a brief Greek-inspired coup triggered an invasion by Turkey in 1974. Its Greek Cypriot population live in the south, and Turkish Cypriots in the north, separated by a cease-fire line patrolled by one of the world's oldest peace keeping missions.
 
The south, which is run by an internationally recognized government and a member of the euro zone, had to be bailed out last year by the European Union and the IMF after a banking sector collapse left it on the brink of bankruptcy.
 
The lenders anticipate that overall output will contract by about 10 percent before the economy begins to recover.
 
The continuing dispute over the island is also a hurdle to Turkey's ambitions to join the European Union.
 
“Economic circumstances, harsh as they are, can and have reminded people that a solution is beneficial for the island,” said Downer, a former Australian foreign minister, who steps down from his U.N. post next month.
 
Preliminary findings of a survey into the economic benefits of a peace deal prepared by the PRIO peace institute forecasts that a settlement could add 18 billion euros to Cyprus's economy over a 20-year period, boosting output by an average 3.8 percent per year.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8916
JPY
USD
121.32
GBP
USD
0.6487
CAD
USD
1.3252
INR
USD
66.401

Rates may not be current.