Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders met at a cocktail party on Wednesday held to mark new efforts to find a solution to the conflict which has divided the island for 34 years. The leaders decided to meet on May 23 to review the progress of the preparations. (UPDATED)
Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias decided to meet on May 23 to review progress in the preparations for the peace negotiations due to start in June, a senior Turkish Cypriot official was quoted as saying by AFP.
It was not immediately clear where Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat would meet, the official said.
Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders met in March to revive the reunification talks, which have been stalled since 2004 when the Greeks rejected a peace plan in a referendum, and agreed to start formal negotiations in July. Since then technical committees have been holding preparatory talks.
Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer said they hope to achieve a comprehensive settlement by end-2008. "We hope the two leaders will launch the comprehensive negotiation process under U.N. sponsorship in June and that we will achieve a comprehensive settlement towards the end of the year," said Soyer, who also attended the event.
The event was organized by officials from the embassy of
In April, the United Nations launched preparatory work between the two sides to pave the way for peace talks next month. Working groups and technical committees have been tasked with bridging the differences on key issues -- including property, security and territory -- to give the reunification talks a chance to succeed.
Six working groups and seven technical committees, set up in the context of the March 21 agreement between the leaders, are meeting to prepare the grounds for substantive negotiations between the two leaders.
The leaders also decided to meet again in three months to review the work of the committees dealing with various aspects of the