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Cyprus peace talks to resume on Tuesday

Long-stalled peace talks are to resume on Tuesday after Greek and Turkish Cypriots agreed over the weekend on a road map prepared by the United Nations as a basis for the negotiations.

“Greek-Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades (photo) and Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will meet in the United Nations Protected Area of Nicosia at the Good Offices Mission on Tuesday,” a statement by UN mediators said on Saturday.

The stage was set for the resumption of negotiations over the weekend after Eroglu accepted a draft communique that Anastasiades had approved.

The development followed a week of feverish diplomatic activity with Anastasiades declaring that there were “serious prospects” for reunification talks resuming.

The relaunch of negotiations has followed months of encouragement by the UN and Washington. According to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, Anastasiades and US Vice President Joe Biden spoke by telephone on Friday night with the latter reassuring the former of “unwavering US support for a just and lasting settlement to achieve the reunification of Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation.”

Biden described Cyprus as “a key partner in a vital region” and emphasized Washington’s commitment to “our cooperation with Cyprus to advance our mutual interests” as well as “exploring new opportunities to promote Cyprus’s economic recovery and growth.”

The last round of UN-buffered peace talks on Cyprus were frozen when the country assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union in 2012 and were then delayed further when Nicosia was forced to seek a foreign bailout from international creditors last March.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday February 8, 2014 (17:45)  
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