Envoy: Cyrpus talks making progress

Sept. 11, 2009 at 2:10 AM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Cypriot leaders discussing reunification of the Greek and Turkish sectors of the island are making progress, a U.N. official said Thursday.

Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat both put forward "bridging proposals," Alexander Downer, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special envoy on Cyprus, told reporters. He said he could not give details on the talks in Nicosia.

"I think you will understand and respect the fact that these sorts of negotiations work best if the leaders are able to discuss these things with a degree of privacy," he said.

The United Nations has had peacekeepers in Cyprus since 1964, while Turkey has occupied the northern sector of Cyprus since 1974. The Republic of Cyprus is recognized internationally as the government of the entire island.

Christofias and Talat agreed in principle last year to a "a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions."

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