Cypriot leaders agree to boost reunification talks


President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed on Tuesday (May 5th) to intensify talks aimed at reunifying the divided island, UN Special Representative in Cyprus Taye-Brook Zerihoun said. He explained the two leaders discussed progress achieved so far and decided to speed up the process.

After the meeting, Christofias insisted talks will continue, despite last week’s ruling by the European Court of Justice. It backed the right of Greek Cypriots to reclaim property abandoned in northern Cyprus after the 1974 Turkish military intervention — land later sold to foreigners. The property issue is a key component of the reunification talks.

In other news, media are reporting that after the cabinet reshuffle in Turkey last week, government spokesman Cemil Cicek will oversee the Cyprus issue, rather than new Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. He will focus instead on Armenia, the Middle East, Africa and the United States.

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