Cypriot Leaders Resume Negotiations on Island’s Reunification

Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervish Eroglou agreed on a framework to resume talks between the two sides on the reunification of the island.

The negotiations aim to create a bi-zonal federation, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said in comments televised on state-run Rik TV after meeting Eroglou in Nicosia today. The two leaders’ joint declaration is a “framework” for reunification talks, not the final solution, he said.

A united Cyprus “will have a single international identity and a single sovereignty,” Lisa Buttenheim, the United Nations’ Cyprus chief of mission, said on Rik TV from Nicosia after the meeting. Both Cypriot leaders agreed that “the status quo is unacceptable” and that talks will continue until the two sides reach a settlement, she said.

Cyprus has been divided into Republic of Cyprus in the south of the island and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus since 1974, when Turkey invaded the island in response to a coup to reunite Cyprus with the Greek state.

The declaration “lays a solid foundation for resumption of negotiations for a fair and viable comprehensive settlement,” European Commission President Jose Barroso and European Union President Herman Van Rompuy said in an e-mailed statement today.

The negotiating framework should help the two parties “swiftly address matters of substance and achieve rapid results in the negotiations,” the EU said in its statement. Cypriot Finance Minister Haris Georgiades said the reunification of the island will have positive economic benefits for the area.

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