New UN effort on Cyprus

NICOSIA (Reuters) – The United Nations is to start talks with the Cypriot government in the next few days in a bid to revive efforts to reunite Cyprus. But all sides on Tuesday played down any idea of a speedy resumption of substantive face-to-face negotiations, on an issue that has frustrated diplomats for 30 years. A UN spokesman in Nicosia described the talks to be held in New York as «exploratory» and Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis revealed they would start in mid-May. President Tassos Papadopoulos said there was a long way to go before a peace deal, or even full peace talks, were possible. «Let’s not rush to greet the resumption of a new initiative. There is still a long road before us before the new dialogue is sufficiently prepared,» Papadopoulos told reporters. Molyviatis said the UN talks were to seek a way out of the impasse. «There will be preliminary contacts between Nicosia and the United Nations to make sure that the first step won’t be the last one,» he told Reuters.

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