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Talks to start in unification of Cyprus

July 11, 2006 at 1:57 AM

NICOSIA, Cyprus, July 11 (UPI) -- The leaders of Cyprus and Turkish Cyprus have agreed to new talks that could lead to reunification.

Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat decided Saturday that negotiations would proceed on two tracks, Ekathimerini.com reported.

Technical teams will begin discussing joint policing and environmental issues while talks start on major sticking points, like the government of a united Cyprus and restitution of property.

Papadopolous called the agreement "an important step."

"Let us hope this new opening will have a positive result at the end of it," he said. "The difficulties will come when the discussions will turn to issues of substance and whether both sides will show the good will to make the necessary compromises on the substantive issues."

The technical talks are scheduled to start by the end of July.

Talat and Papadopolous met Saturday in the U.N. buffer zone.

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