UN head: Cyprus reunification deal in January

UN head: Cyprus reunification deal in January

UNITED NATIONS - The Associated Press
UN head: Cyprus reunification deal in January

Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon stands between the leaders of the island. DHA Photo.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday he expects a deal in January to reunify Cyprus after "positive, productive and vigorous" talks with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders.

Ban said after two days of meetings with President Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu that "both leaders have assured me that they believe they can finalize a deal." He told reporters that the leaders will continue negotiations and that when he meets them again in January "I expect the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem to have been resolved." Cyprus was split into a Greek Cypriot south and a Turkish Cypriot north in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters with Greece. Numerous U.N.-mediated attempts at reunification have failed.

The latest round of U.N.-sponsored talks between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders concluded Monday in Manhasset, New York.

Ban met with both sides over two days at a secluded estate on Long Island, east of New York City.

Ban said after his last meeting with the two Cypriot leaders in Geneva on July 7 that he expected them to reach agreement by October, but differences remain.

Reportedly, the two sides have not agreed on key issues including what to do with private property lost during the war, territorial boundaries, details of a federal government and elections.