Cyprus leaders agree to start talks

Cyprus President Dimitris Christo-fias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday agreed to kickstart stalled peace talks and pledged to reopen a landmark street in the divided capital of Nicosia as a goodwill gesture. The meeting between the two leaders, mediated by the United Nations’ permanent representative for the island Michael Moller, was the first since Christofias was elected to his post last month. It was «very positive and cordial» and revealed «a great degree of convergence,» according to Moller, who said that the men would meet again in three months. «The leaders have also agreed that Ledra Street should open and function as soon as technically possible,» he added. Officials in Nicosia said the crossing, in the city’s shopping district, could be open within a week. Until the next scheduled meeting in June, the two leaders’ aides are to set up working committees to examine the resolution of practical issues. Both leaders appeared positive and determined after yesterday’s talks. «We agreed to work together in a spirit of good will,» Christofias said, adding, «We shall examine any possible disagreement together.» Talat was even more effusive. «This is a new era for the solution of the Cyprus problem,» he said, adding that a settlement could even be found by year-end. Christofias did not refer to a timeframe. «We didn’t mention anything about the basis or parameters of the solution,» he said.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.