July 7, 2006
Cypriot leaders to meet again on Saturday: UN
NICOSIA (Reuters) - Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders will
meet on Saturday in the presence of a United Nations envoy for
the second time this week to explore ways of resuming stalled
reunification talks, officials said on Friday.
"A proposal for a meeting has been agreed. The idea is
really to find ways of moving forward," said Ibrahim Gambari,
U.N. under-secretary general for political affairs presently in
Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos to discuss people missing
from past conflict. That was their first encounter since Greek
Cypriots rejected a U.N. reunification blueprint for the
partitioned island in April 2004.
The U.N. is hosting the talks in the compound of a disused
airport in the capital Nicosia.
Attempts to start low-level preparatory talks for a
resumption of peace negotiations have stalled on differences on
what should be on the agenda.
Turkish Cypriots say it should be day-to-day issues like
water management which would aid an improvement to relations,
but Greek Cypriots say it should encompass more serious issues
like troop withdrawal.
A spokesman for Papadopoulos said: "Preparatory talks
should start immediately on issues of substance related to the
Cyprus problem to prepare the ground for a resumption of
The division of the island between Greek and Turkish
Cypriots threatens the EU accession hopes of Turkey, which in
1974 invaded the north after a brief Greek-inspired coup. Greek
Cypriots represent the island in the EU.
New peace talks could help Turkey's attempts to join the
25-member bloc. Turkey started entry talks last October but EU
leaders have warned talks could be suspended unless it opens
its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot traffic.