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Cyprus: UN Talks With Both Community Leaders

Cyprus: UN political chief holds talks with leaders of both communities

17 June 2008 - The top United Nations political official today met with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders on the Mediterranean island as part of the world body's support of discussions between the two communities on possible reunification.

B. Lynn Pascoe, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, held separate meetings in Nicosia with Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, and also held discussions with diplomats and local civil society leaders.

Mr. Pascoe told reporters he was in Cyprus to assess the latest developments and to determine how the UN can help move the process forward.

The two community leaders conducted face-to-face talks earlier this year, after which they committed themselves in a statement to working towards "a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions."

This partnership will comprise a Federal Government with a single international personality, along with a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, which will be of equal status.

The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) has been in place on the island since 1964 after the outbreak of intercommunal violence. It is tasked with preventing a recurrence of fighting, contributing to a return to normal conditions and the maintenance of law and order.

ENDS

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