NEWS

Exploratory talks on Cyprus to open today

A senior Cypriot presidential aide is to join in exploratory talks in New York today with United Nations officials, which will focus on restarting the Cyprus peace process. Yesterday, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said the meetings would seek to determine a framework for new negotiations, following last year’s collapse of a UN drive – based on a blueprint by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan – for the island’s reunification. Papadopoulos said Nicosia was not setting terms or preconditions for a new round of top-level peace talks. «We have just voiced our certainty that the conditions must be created to ensure the new round of talks is successful,» he said. «Without such conditions the talks will not start.» In New York, Tassos Tzionis, head of the president’s diplomatic office, will meet Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast and other UN officials.