NEWS

UN makes proposal to Cyprus

The United Nations has proposed a gradual buildup to reviving stalled peace talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. A document sent yesterday by UN Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari to Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat proposes new ideas for kick-starting negotiations, sources in Nicosia said. The letter describes «practical arrangements aimed at expediting efforts to advance the implementation of the July 8 agreement,» Cypriot government spokesman Christodoulos Pasiardis said, referring to a summer pact to start two-tier exploratory talks. Pasiardis said Nicosia would accept Gambari’s overture. The Associated Press quoted Turkish-Cypriot spokesman Hasan Ercakica as saying that Gambari had proposed the resumption of talks «toward the end of the first quarter of next year» and that the Turkish Cypriots welcomed the initiative. The move comes amid growing concern in the EU that a deadlock over Cyprus could derail Turkey’s bid to join the bloc.