Cyprus reunification talks to resume

Image source, AP
Image caption,
The resort of Varosha - abandoned after the 1974 division

Talks on the reunification of Cyprus are to resume following agreement between Turkish and Greek Cypriots on a negotiations roadmap.

UN mediators said the leaders of both sides will meet at a UN compound in the capital Nicosia on 11 February.

A roadmap for talks was agreed on Friday after several months of talks.

Cyprus split after a coup in 1974 that was aimed at uniting the island with Greece, sparking a Turkish invasion of the island's north.

The island was effectively partitioned, with the northern third inhabited by Turkish Cypriots and the southern two-thirds by Greek Cypriots.

The Turkish-held area declared itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983. It is only recognised by Turkey.

A UN Buffer Zone - the Green Line - divides the sectors, including Nicosia.

Debt crisis

"Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will meet in the United Nations Protected Area of Nicosia at the Good Offices Mission on Tuesday," the UN statement said.

On Friday, Mr Eroglu's office confirmed: "The Greek and Turkish sides in Cyprus have reached an agreement on a common declaration for resuming negotiations."

Mr Anastasiades said: "The hardest part is yet to follow. The joint declaration doesn't constitute the solution to the Cyprus problem, but sets the parameters along which the two communities must move."

The last talks were suspended when Cyprus assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union in 2012.

The government in Nicosia had also been hampered by the need to secure an international bailout sparked by the eurozone debt crisis.

On Friday Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said reunification talks were "one of the leading priorities of Greek foreign policy".

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