Turk and Greek Cypriot leaders to meet in March

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Turk and Greek Cypriot leaders to meet in March
Oluşturulma Tarihi: Mart 03, 2008 11:32

Leaders of the rival Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities are expected to meet later this month in a fresh drive to reunify the island, the top UN official in Cyprus said on Monday. (UPDATED)

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"I will start preparations for that meeting, probably towards the end of the second half of this month," U.N. resident representative Michael Moller told reporters after a meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias. Moller later told AFP they are working to schedule the meeting in the second half of March but there is no specific dates yet.       

It will be the first meeting between Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek-Cypriot leader since Christofias won presidential elections on Feb 24, pledging to push for a settlement which has defied mediation for decades.   

"I had a very good meeting with Mr. Christofias and (he) told me he is very keen and ready to meet with Mr Talat as soon as possible, and he has asked me to continue working on that," Moller said.

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Christofias was elected on a tide of public discontent with the policies of his predecessor, Tassos Papadopoulos, who had led Greek Cypriots in rejecting a U.N. reunification plan in 2004 and had not, critics charged, made any real attempt to break a deadlock since then. Cyprus was divided in a 1974 Turkish military intervention which followed a brief Greek-inspired coup. Christofias said the islands reunification would be his governments "top priority

Cyprus entered the European Union in May 2004 as a divided island. Its partition is hampering Turkey's ambitions to join the EU, which recognises the Greek-Cypriot government in the south. An incremental approach to confidence building -- outlined in a July 2006 deal brokered by the U.N. -- has not been.

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