World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades are meeting the UN's Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide as part of ongoing peace talks.
The meeting started early Wednesday in the UN-mandated buffer zone and is the first of four scheduled engagements between the two leaders between now and July 27.
Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Ozdil Nami and Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, along with UN special representative in Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim are also attending.
The two leaders are expected to make a statement later.
Political tensions in the long-divided island have eased since fully fledged talks resumed on May 15. A series of confidence-building measures for the benefit of the two communities on the island are under discussion.
On May 28, leaders agreed a five-step plan to resolve the Cyprus issue following a meeting hosted by Eide.
These steps included opening more crossing points, interconnecting power grids, allowing mobile phone interoperability on both sides of the island, resolving the issue of radio frequency conflicts, and forming a joint committee on gender equality.
Peace talks were unilaterally suspended by the Greek Cypriot administration last October after Turkey issued an advisory on behalf of the TRNC for seismic research off the coast of Cyprus.
The island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot government in the northern one third and a Greek Cypriot administration in the southern two-thirds after a 1974 military coup by Greece was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor state in Cyprus.
Border gates between the TRNC and Greek-administered southern Cyprus were opened on April 2003.
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