Cyprus set for dialogue next week

The new Cyprus president, Dimitris Christofias, is to meet with Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in Nicosia next Friday for talks that, it is hoped, will lead to the island’s reunification, a United Nations official said yesterday. The two leaders will meet at the UN’s headquarters at Nicosia airport in the presence of the alliance’s representative on the island, Michael Moller, UN spokesman Jose Diaz said. The announcement was made following a meeting between the two leaders’ aides that was described by Moller as «very cordial and constructive.» «The two aides reached a great degree of convergence on the issues discussed, including on the possible future opening of the Ledra Street crossing,» Moller said. However Christofias, leaving for a European Union summit in Brussels yesterday, said he was concerned about the «provocative» stance adopted by Talat over the past few days. Christofias reiterated that a stalled July 2006 agreement between the two sides for the launch of exploratory talks on specific issues should be the basis for renewed talks.

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