Turk-Greek Cypriot leaders to meet on May 23

The two leaders of divided Cyprus will meet May 23 to review progress in preparations for peace negotiations due to start in June, a senior Turkish Cypriot official said Thursday.

Turk-Greek Cypriot leaders to meet on May 23
It wasn't immediately clear where Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat would meet.

"We hope the two leaders will launch the comprehensive negotiation process under U.N. sponsorship in June and that we will achieve a comprehensive settlement towards the end of the year," said Ferdi Sabit Soyer, PM of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

In April, the U.N. launched preparatory work between the two sides to pave the way for peace talks next month. Working groups and technical committees have been tasked with bridging the differences on key issues - including property, security and territory - to give the reunification talks a chance to succeed.

Christofias and Talat met at a cocktail party Wednesday held to mark the new efforts to end the division. They were guests of honor at a reception at the Ledra Palace, once one of the island's top hotels and now a makeshift barracks for peacekeepers inside the U.N.-controlled buffer zone.

The event was organized by officials from the Slovakian embassy and was the pair's first meeting since a landmark deal Mar. 21 to launch peace talks.

Christofias was elected in February on a platform of finding a solution to the island's division.

There had been no progress towards solving the problem since Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly rejected a U.N.-drafted reunification blueprint in 2004. Turkish Cypriots approved it.

Last Mod: 09 Mayıs 2008, 11:41
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