UN urges more intense negotiations on Cyprus

The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday called on the leaders of Cyprus to ?intensify the momentum of negotiations? and reach a resolution on the island?s 37-year-old division before Cyprus assumes the European Union?s rotating presidency on July 1 next year.

Speaking at a news conference in Washington following a Security Council resolution to extend the UN peacekeeping force?s mandate on the divided island for another seven months, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was optimistic about the progress made so far by Greek-Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, but stressed that time for reaching a settlement was ?quite limited,? as Cyprus?s presidency of the EU would make talks ?politically difficult and sensitive.?