This article focuses on the potentially positive and negative impact that multiple and competing external stakeholders (influential foreign powers, supranational institutions, intergovernmental organizations and NGOs from various countries) can have on official and non-official third-party peace building initiatives. The example examined in this article describes a Swiss NGO-initiated intercommunal project in Cyprus. It analyzes the failure of this confidence-building project by looking at the role of external (and to a lesser degree, internal) stakeholders in the intervention. The article is descriptive and narrative due to the fact that access to confidential information of key stakeholder governments and institutions remains limited. The aim of the authors is to use this field experience in Cyprus to further develop the theory and practice of third-party intervention into persistent and malignant conflicts characterized by interference from multiple external stakeholders.