UN envoy reports progress in Cyprus reunification talks

09:47, December 16, 2010      

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A U.N. envoy said Wednesday that Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders have advanced in their talks to reunite the divided island.

"Further progress was achieved on the issue of economy," Alexander Downer said after the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met in the U.N.-controlled buffer zone.

Downer, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's special adviser for Cyprus, expressed belief that the two leaders "can meet the expectations" of Ban to tackle core issues before they meet him in Geneva in late January.

There is "an intense activity" regarding the Cyprus talks aimed at reaching a solution of the Cyprus problem, Downer said.

Christofias confirmed that progress on the economy issue was achieved but declined additional comment, saying negotiations are still under way.

Eroglu said there are still "some uncompromising sides of issues related to the economy."

Christofias and Eroglu have been engaged in negotiations to find a solution to the problem of Cyprus, divided into Greek and Turkish Cypriot parts, after Turkish troops landed on northern Cyprus in 1974, responding to a coup by Greek army officers.

Ban invited both leaders to New York last month and urged them to move quickly forward before meeting him again in Geneva to evaluate their progress.

"Since their successful meeting in New York on the 18th of November the leaders have been making a big effort to make sure that the work is well done and that convergences can be achieved on the core issues between now and the 26th of January," Downer said.

He added that the community leaders on Wednesday also exchanged further opinions on the issue of governance and power sharing.

The leaders were to meet again in a week's time before recessing for the Christmas holiday.

Source: Xinhua


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