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

On Monday Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met Greek
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.