Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'iVIOLATED'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

France's Iliad considers fresh offer for T-Mobile

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Back to school!

Read more

WEB NEWS

USA: Thousands pay tribute to Michael Brown

Read more

ENCORE!

The French Maestro of Soul

Read more

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Paris apartment building blast

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Amerli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • Anti-govt protesters briefly seize Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

Cyprus moves to direct peace talks

Latest update : 2008-07-25

Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will conduct direct negotiations to find a mutually acceptable solution for the divided island, a UN spokesman said.

The leaders of divided Cyprus are to enter direct peace negotiations on September 3 aimed at ending the 34-year-old division of the island, with a solution to be put to simultaneous referendums, the United Nations said on Friday.
  
The UN Chief of Mission in Cyprus, Taye-Brook Zerihoun, made the announcement after hosting more than two hours of talks between President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
  
Speaking to reporters in the old Nicosia airport in the UN buffer zone, Zerihoun said Christofias and Talat had reviewed progress made by the working groups and technical committees set up at their talks in March.
  
"Having made their final review, the leaders decided to start their fully fledged negotiations on September 3, 2008 under the good offices mission of the UN secretary general.
  
"The aim of fully fledged negotiations is to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem, which will safeguard the fundamental and legitimate rights and interests of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots," he said.
  
"The agreed solution will be put to separate and simultaneous referenda," Zerihoun added, reading a joint statement on behalf of the two leaders.
  
The referendums will be held in the Turkish Cypriot northern sector and the Greek Cypriot south. A similar vote, on a peace plan drawn up by the United Nations former secretary general Kofi Annan in 2004, drew a resounding 'yes' from the north but was strongly rejected by the south.
  
Friday's talks followed intensive diplomatic moves to end the crisis caused when Turkish troops, in July 1974, invaded the northern part of the eastern Mediterranean island in response to an Athen-engineered coup aimed at uniting the island with Greece.
  
The lack of a Cyprus settlement is viewed as a major stumbling block to Turkey's European Union ambitions.
  
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon wants to see direct negotiations start soon, and he has named Australia's former foreign minister Alexander Downer as his special envoy for Cyprus.
  
The leaders' statement said: "As a reflection of the heightened engagement, the leaders have agreed to establish a secure hotline to facilitate direct contact between them."

Date created : 2008-07-25

COMMENT(S)