Magazine article Europe-East

Cyprus Reunification : "Fruitful" Meeting Kicks off Key Phase of Peace Talks

Magazine article Europe-East

Cyprus Reunification : "Fruitful" Meeting Kicks off Key Phase of Peace Talks

Article excerpt

Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat, the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, opened, on 11 September, a key part of the negotiations aimed at the reunification of the Mediterranean island. The two leaders focused on power-sharing and governance arrangements for a united Cyprus. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, has said the meeting was "productive and fruitful". However, it is not yet clear whether the talks on power-sharing could be concluded at the next meeting scheduled for 18 September as Christofias refused to comment on the result of the first round. "This is not the time to say whether I'm pleased or not," he said.

According to Talat, neither side should communicate details of the negotiations via the media. "Exchange of views or negotiations through the media is an impossible task," Talat said ahead of the meeting. However, he expressed optimism that the talks would provide a positive outcome. "It's a unique language of peace that will keep us together," Talat commented.

The four-hour round of talks at Nicosia's abandoned airport in the UN-patrolled buffer zone followed the launch last week of fully-fledged negotiations seen as the best chance of reunification for years despite entrenched differences. The previous attempt at a negotiated solution collapsed in 2004 when Turkish Cypriots voted in favour of a UN settlement plan which was simultaneously rejected by Greek Cypriot voters. As a result, Cyprus joined the European Union that year as a divided island with Turkish Cypriots denied the bloc's membership benefits.

STUMBLING BLOCKS

The talks will cover six main areas: power-sharing and governance, EU matters, economy, property issues, territorial arrangements and security. According to experts, the three latter issues are expected to be the most contentious. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.