UN: Cyprus still very close to deal despite halt in talks

UN: Cyprus still very close to deal despite halt in talks

A United Nations official says ethnically divided Cyprus remains “very, very close” to an agreement to reunite the island despite a breakdown in talks last week.

The UN’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide called off mediation efforts Friday following a disagreement between Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on how the talks should proceed.

The two leaders also differ on the future of some 35,000 Turkish troops on the island.

But in Athens on Monday, Eide said the talks until now had brought the prospect of federal reunification closer than ever since the island’s division in 1974.

He says Anastasiades and Akinci have agreed on most issues required for a deal.

Eide was due in Ankara, Turkey later Monday. [AP]

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