On Friday, June 20th, Hudson Institute hosted an important conversation with Alexis Galanos, Mayor of the city of Famagusta and former Speaker of the Cyprus House of Representatives. As the mayor of a city in the northern, Turkish-occupied part of the island, Mayor Galanos shared his unique perspective on current and future prospects for the reunification of Cyprus.
2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Following numerous failed attempts to reach a settlement, a Joint Declaration agreed to in February has galvanized new reunification efforts. As events in the Ukraine have underscored Europe’s energy vulnerability, Vice President Biden’s recent trip to the island highlighted the eastern Mediterranean’s potential for exploration, production, and transportation of oil and gas.
Mayor Galanos brought fresh insight to the complex reunification debate by analyzing both the potential role of energy resources and the impact of the Cypriot government’s confidence-building measures. Mayor Galanos also explained how the return of the town of Famagusta to Cyprus can be the key to reaching a unification solution. Hudson Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for American Seapower, Seth Cropsey, moderated the discussion.