Cyprus community leaders make progress on sovereignty in UNbacked talks

1 July 2008The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities have agreed in principle on the issues of single sovereignty and citizenship during a meeting today as part of United Nations-backed discussions on the possible reunification of Cyprus. Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met in Nicosia “in a positive and cooperate atmosphere” and began a first review of the working groups and technical committees, according to a joint statement.“They discussed the issues of single sovereignty and citizenship, which they agreed in principle. They agreed to discuss the details of their implementation during the full-fledged negotiations.”The statement added that Mr. Christofias and Mr. Talat have agreed to meet again on 25 July, when they will undertake the final review of the working groups and technical committees.In May the two leaders committed themselves in a statement to working towards “a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions.”The partnership will comprise a Federal Government with a single international personality, along with a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, which will be of equal status. Last month representatives of the two communities also announced a series of measures aimed at easing the daily life of Cypriots across the Mediterranean island.The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) has been in place on the island since 1964 after the outbreak of intercommunal violence. It is tasked with preventing a recurrence of fighting, contributing to a return to normal conditions and the maintenance of law and order.

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