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Leaders of Cyprus' two communities agree to revive talks
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07:49, August 15, 2007

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Leaders of Cyprus' two communities have agreed to restart their talks in a bid to end the stalemate in reunification process of the Mediterranean island.

Both leaders had consented on July 8, 2006 to launch two-layer negotiations, with technical committees to dealing with day-to-day issues and working groups discussing substantive problems. But little progress has been made due to lack of trust between the two sides.

An official statement released on Tuesday confirmed that Cypriot President and Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos received a letter from Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, regarding the negotiations.

"The President of the Republic replied on the same day through a letter to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus, asking him to make immediately the necessary arrangements for a meeting between the leaders of the two communities, aiming at the immediate implementation of the 8th July Agreement," said the statement.

According to state television RIK, Talat has accepted the invitation by Papadopoulos and their meeting would likely take place by the end of August.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged in July the two leaders in Cyprus to build on progress achieved to date, by showing the necessary imagination and political courage to move from talks about procedures to real engagement in substance.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey militarily intervened and occupied the north of the island following a coup by a group of Greek officers who pushed for union with Greece.

The United Nations and the European Union have made continuous efforts to persuade the two communities to work out a viable solution to the decades-long Cyprus problem.

Source: Xinhua



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