Cypriot leaders meet for 63rd time for intensified talks

Cypriot leaders met for the 63rd time at the buffer zone in Lefkosa to hold the third and last meeting of the first round of intensified talks in Cyprus.

Cypriot leaders meet for 63rd time for intensified talks

Cypriot leaders met for the 63rd time at the buffer zone in Lefkosa on Wednesday to hold the third and last meeting of the first round of intensified talks in Cyprus.

President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias got together at the residence of Taye Brook Zerihoun, the special representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus.

Apart from Talat and Christofias, their teams, Zerihoun and UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer are also attending the meeting, during which leaders are expected to continue negotiating "management and share of power".

During Tuesday's gathering, the Greek Cypriot party relayed its official proposal on "management and share of power" issue. The Turkish Cypriot party had presented its proposal on such matter on January 7, however, one day before the start of intensified talks, Greek Cypriots said that they considered TRNC's proposal "unacceptable".

Delivering a statement following Tuesday's meeting, Talat said that an urgent solution was needed in the island.

Downer also emphasized that UN highly appreciated the progress of intensified talks.

Intensified talks are being held in two rounds and each round takes 3 days. Leaders are holding the last meeting of the first round on Wednesday. They will get together on January 25, 26 and 27 as part of the second round.

Cypriot leaders initiated a comprehensive negotiation process in an effort to find a settlement to Cyprus issue in September 2008.

The leaders are expected to discuss "management and share of power", "economy", "European Union" and "property" issues under the new and intensified stage of talks.

Issue

Gaining independence from the UK in 1960, Cyprus became a bi-communal Republic where Greek and Turkish Cypriot constituent communities would share power guaranteed by the UK, Turkey and Greece. However, reluctant to share power and pursuing a policy of Enosis (Union) with Greece, Greek Cypriots soon expelled Turkish Cypriots from power and terrorised and ghettoised them.

Decades long armed attacks on the defenseless Turkish Cypriots culminated in 1974 when an Athens-backed Greek Cypriot military coup on the island led to Turkey's intervention based on its rights stemming from guarantor agreement.

Although the Republic of Cyprus as described in the 1959 agreements is no longer there, Greek Cypriots continue to enjoy this title and international recognition while the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a fully democratic government representing Turkish Cypriots, still suffers under an unfair political and economic blockade.

Cyprus joined the EU as a divided island when Greek Cypriots in the south rejected the UN reunification plan in twin referendums in 2004 even though the Turkish Cypriots in the north overwhelmingly supported it.

The promise made by EU foreign ministers before the referendums to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and establish direct trade with north Cyprus remains unfulfilled.


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Last Mod: 13 Ocak 2010, 11:56
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