Europe

AP Interview: UN envoy says Erdogan ready to deal on Cyprus

  • The United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at his office at the Nicosia abandoned airport inside the UN controlled buffer zone in the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, Eide indicated it's unclear where Erdogan wants to take a key summit in Geneva next month that aims to hammer out a comprehensive peace accord. Eide says neither Greece nor Turkey wants the decades-old conflict to remain frozen because a Cyprus deal would help resolve overarching regional issues. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    The United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at his office at the Nicosia abandoned airport inside the UN controlled buffer zone in the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, Eide indicated it's unclear where Erdogan wants to take a key summit in Geneva next month that aims to hammer out a comprehensive peace accord. Eide says neither Greece nor Turkey wants the decades-old conflict to remain frozen because a Cyprus deal would help resolve overarching regional issues. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

  • The United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at his office at the Nicosia abandoned airport inside the UN controlled buffer zone in the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Eide indicated it is unclear where Erdogan wants to take a key summit in Geneva next month that aims to hammer out a comprehensive peace accord. Eide says neither Greece nor Turkey wants the decades-old conflict to remain frozen because a Cyprus deal would help resolve overarching regional issues. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    The United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at his office at the Nicosia abandoned airport inside the UN controlled buffer zone in the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Eide indicated it is unclear where Erdogan wants to take a key summit in Geneva next month that aims to hammer out a comprehensive peace accord. Eide says neither Greece nor Turkey wants the decades-old conflict to remain frozen because a Cyprus deal would help resolve overarching regional issues. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

  • The United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at his office at the Nicosia abandoned airport inside the UN controlled buffer zone in the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Eide indicated it's unclear where Erdogan wants to take a key summit in Geneva next month that aims to hammer out a comprehensive peace accord. Eide says neither Greece nor Turkey wants the decades-old conflict to remain frozen because a Cyprus deal would help resolve overarching regional issues. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    The United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at his office at the Nicosia abandoned airport inside the UN controlled buffer zone in the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. Eide indicated it's unclear where Erdogan wants to take a key summit in Geneva next month that aims to hammer out a comprehensive peace accord. Eide says neither Greece nor Turkey wants the decades-old conflict to remain frozen because a Cyprus deal would help resolve overarching regional issues. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

A U.N. envoy says that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ready to "play ball" on reaching a deal on reunifying ethnically divided Cyprus.

But Espen Barth Eide indicated in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday that it's unclear where Erdogan wants to take a summit in Geneva next month that aims to hammer out a comprehensive peace accord.

Greece, Turkey and Britain will participate in the summit to overcome the major hurdle of providing security in an envisioned federation made up of Greek and Turkish speaking zones. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup aiming at union with Greece.

Eide says neither Greece nor Turkey wants the decades-old conflict to remain frozen because a Cyprus deal would help resolve overarching regional issues.