’Remarkable consensus’ in Cyprus talks

ISTANBUL - After acknowledging that the Cyprus talks made insufficient progress, the Cypriot leaders finally reach consensus on cooperation between the founder states and the federal state and the hierarchy of norms. International agreements will be discussed on their next meeting

Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Demetris Christofias, yesterday reached a consensus on two administrative issues, a U.N. envoy said.

Talat and Christofias were in full consensus about harmony and cooperation between the founder states and the federal state, Taye Brook Zerihoun, the U.N. secretary general's special representative in Cyprus told reporters after the leaders' meeting, the Anatolia News Agency reported.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Talat confirmed progress had been made and that "a remarkable consensus was achieved" on two major issues. He said they also reached a consensus on how legislation could be balanced between the founder states and the federal state, namely the hierarchy of norms. Talat also said they talked briefly about the technical committees’ work noting there had been a slowness in the implementation of decisions.

During their last meeting in December, the two leaders acknowledged that they made insufficient progress; therefore yesterday’s consensus was important in terms of carrying the talks forward.

Talat and Christofias began peace talks in September after a four-year hiatus, marking the first major push for peace since the failure of a U.N. reunification plan in 2004 that was approved by Turkish Cypriots, but overwhelmingly rejected by Greek Cypriots.

The fact that Greek Cyprus is a member of the European Union has had a wide-ranging impact on reunification talks as they intend to bring the north of the island into the 27-nation bloc, with its detailed legislation and specific deals with nations such as Turkey. The EU has said on many occasions that Cyprus reunification talks in 2009 would be essential to move Turkey's slow-moving EU accession talks forward.

In terms of the appointment of a Turkish Cypriot ambassador to Turkey, Talat said they were negotiating a name and the result would be announced in the next few days, reported Anatolia.
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