Friday, August 07, 2009

Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot presidents meet for 40th time

PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias met for the 40th time in the buffer zone as part of negotiations to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

The first round of Cyprus talks concluded after the leaders met.

The United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy to Cyprus Alexander Downer, speaking after the two-and-a-half-hour-long meeting, said important progress was recorded in the first round of talks, reports.

Downer said the parties were pleased to complete the first round. The two leaders will begin the second round of talks on Sept. 3.

Talat and Christofias started the talks Sept. 3, 2008.

Turkish Cypriots aim to complete negotiations by the end of this year and hold a referendum at the beginning of 2010.

Cyprus joined the EU as a divided island when Greek Cypriots in the south rejected a UN reunification plan in twin referendums in 2004; the Turkish Cypriots in the north overwhelmingly supported it.

The promise made by EU foreign ministers before the referendums to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and establish direct trade with northern Cyprus remains unfulfilled.
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