Thursday, 10 September 2009


Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders today discussed issues related to the election of the president and vice president of a united republic as they continued United Nations-backed talks on unifying the Mediterranean island.

Both sides put forward new "bridging proposals," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer told journalists following the talks between Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in Nicosia.

But he declined to give any details. "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, noting that the discussions on the proposals, which followed earlier disagreement on the issue, will continue next week.

"We are pleased with the way it's progressing," he added.

UN peacekeepers have been deployed since 1964 to prevent inter-communal fighting on the island. In May last year, Mr. Christofias and Mr. Talat committed themselves to working towards "a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions."

The partnership would comprise a Federal Government with a single international personality, along with a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, which would be of equal status.

After today's talks the two leaders attended a reception for Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot artists whose works, produced with UN backing, adorn the walls of the world body's premises in Nicosia, including the room where the two leaders met.

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