Turkish, Greek Cypriots end 3 days of peace talks

Turkish and Greek Cypriots ended three days of peace talks on Wednesday without any apparent sign of an imminent breakthrough.

Turkish, Greek Cypriots end 3 days of peace talks

Turkish and Greek Cypriots ended three days of peace talks on Wednesday without any apparent sign of an imminent breakthrough.

Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met in a United Nations compound in Nicosia.

Talks to end the division of the island began in September 2008, but the present round of negotiations, which started on Monday, included 10-hour negotiating sessions instead of the normal once-a-week meetings.

"These talks have been held very much in a positive spirit and very good atmosphere," said UN envoy Alexander Downer when asked if there had been any progress.

"I think you will find out how this has all gone at the end of the process rather than us giving a running commentary on how it's going day by day," said Downer, a former Australian foreign minister appointed UN special envoy for Cyprus in 2008.

Talat and Christofias are trying to reunite Cyprus as a two-zone federation linked by a central government. There are deep-rooted differences ranging from power-sharing to property claims from thousands of people uprooted in past conflict.

The focus of this round of talks was to bridge differences on power-sharing and economic issues. Asked if that had been achieved, Christofias said: "I can't say we have had specific results, but we are not talking ... without any purpose either."

Another three-day session was scheduled for late January.

Any deal the leaders reach has to be put to separate referendums in the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities. The Greek Cypriot side rejected a UN reunification blueprint put to a popular vote in 2004.

The stalemate on Cyprus is complicating Turkey's aspirations of joining the EU, where Greek Cypriots represent the island.

Reuters
Last Mod: 14 Ocak 2010, 08:15
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