Greek Cypriots consider ’Beirut formula’ for property disputes in Cyprus

A suggestion made by a Greek commission aising Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades on the unification of the ethnically divided island of Cyprus envisages assigning private companies to act as intermediaries between owners and current users of disputed properties on the island.
The Greek Kathimerini daily reported on Monday that assigning private companies as intermediaries is among the options to find a solution to properties in Cyprus claimed by both Greek and Turkish individuals. Beirut was the first city where private companies assumed an intermediary role between sides over disputed properties. After the destruction of the city during the civil war in 1982, companies took a role in resolving property disputes as well as reconstructing the city.
A total of 155,000 hectares of land were abandoned by Greek Cypriots during the 1974 Turkish military intervention in Cyprus. In addition, 45,000 hectares currently occupied by Greek Cypriots belonged to the Turkish Cypriot community before 1974.
The idea to assign private companies to mediate disputed properties was put forward by former Lebanese Finance Minister Naser Saidi, who was consulted by the Greek commission formed by Anastasiades.
Cyprus was split in 1974 following a Turkish intervention triggered by a Greek-inspired coup. Talks on the island resumed in May following moderate left-wing politician Mustafa Akinciand’s election as president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) in April. The peace talks had stalled last October after Turkey sent a vessel to search for natural gas inside what Greek Cyprus considers to be its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Anastasiades and Akinci have met 10 times since the talks resumed.
In late October, Akinci and Anastasiades agreed to intensify peace talks by scheduling at least six meetings in November.
Speaking to journalists in Nicosia on Oct. 30, Espen Barth Eide, the special aiser to the UN secretary-general on Cyprus, stated that an intensified pace of peace talks aims to seek mutually beneficial solutions for the remaining differences between the two parties in Cyprus.
Akinci and Anastasiades and”have agreed to put their sights on a future where all citizens of a united Cyprus can co-exist and live together in peace,and” Eide told reporters on after the leadersand’ last meeting in Nicosia.


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