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Greek, Turkish Cypriot Leaders To Meet Weekly

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders agree on weekly meetings – UN

10 October 2008 – The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities met today to continue talks on the reunification of the Mediterranean island nation, and agreed to meet on a weekly basis to keep up the momentum of the negotiations, according to a senior United Nations envoy.

Alexander Downer, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, described the hour-long meeting between Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat as “productive”.

In May, Mr. Christofias and Mr. Talat committed to a partnership that will comprise a Federal Government with a single international identity, along with a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, which will be of equal status.

The full-fledged negotiations between the leaders began last month with discussions on the issues of governance and power sharing.

“The leaders had further discussions today on the powers of the federal government, and they made progress,” Mr. Downer told reporters after the meeting, held in the UN Protected Area in Nicosia.

“They also began discussions about the structure of the federal executive,” he added. “Both sides made proposals and those discussions will continue next Monday.”

Mr. Downer emphasized that both leaders wanted to meet on a weekly basis to “keep the momentum of the process going.” He also urged the media to give the leaders the space they need to continue their work. “This is a very important negotiation for the future of Cyprus and the leaders will need a lot of space in order to conduct those negotiations.”

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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