UN says progress made in Cyprus talks
NICOSIA - Agence France-Presse
Greek Cypriot leader and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades (L) walks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci (R) and U.N. envoy Espen Barth Eide in the buffer zone of Nicosia airport June 29, 2015. REUTERS photoRival Cypriot leaders have made progress on the prickly core issues of putting the divided island back together again, UN envoy Espen Barth Eide said on June 29.
He said in a statement that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı, and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades met at the UN-controlled buffer zone in Nicosia "in a positive and results-oriented atmosphere".
"The leaders are now immersed in substantive negotiations," said Eide.
"Their focus is on unresolved core issues... negotiators provided the leaders with an update... on a specific set of core issues across the chapters of governance, property and criteria on territory," he added.
Long-stalled UN-brokered peace -- in what is seen as the best chance in years to reunify Cyprus after four decades of division -- were launched on May 15.
The Norwegian diplomat said the leaders were determined to keep up the pace.
"Mr. Akıncı and Mr. Anastasiades discussed those issues at length in a pragmatic and constructive manner, making further progress."
Many believe the good chemistry between the two can create a climate of trust in order for an elusive peace accord to be reached.
"With substantive negotiations now at the centre of their work, Mr. Akinci and Mr. Anastasiades reiterated their resolve to reach a comprehensive settlement as soon as possible," said Eide.
Key issues that have wrecked previous peace bids are deep-rooted disagreements on territorial adjustments, security, property rights and power sharing in a federal reunited Cyprus.
The two leaders are scheduled to resume where they left off on July 10.
Anastasiades also confirmed after June 29 session that progress had been made with his counterpart.
"The UN announcement says everything. But I must admit it was very productive, progress has been made on important issues and the dialogue will continue."