UN: Cypriot leaders should settle ethnic division on island
Mar 13, 2012, 15:36 GMT
New York - Leaders of the two ethnic communities in Cyprus should reach agreement on a federal government that would end decades of division on the island, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday.
'The time for an agreement is now,' Ban said in a report to the UN Security Council, assessing progress made after several rounds of talks between leaders of the Turkish and Greek communities.
'The current window of opportunity is not limitless and there is little to suggest that the future will bring more propitious circumstances for a settlement,' he said.
Ban acknowledged impasses during the negotiations, including election of the executive in a federal government and other issues like citizenship, property and how a Cyprus settlement would be incorporated into European Union law.
The Greek-led Republic of Cyprus in the south is a EU member while the Turkish Cypriot side in the north is recognized only by Turkey and is not an EU member.
The report said a 'durable settlement could be achieved in the interests of all Cypriots' if the two sides could muster the political will to overcome difficulties in the talks.
Ban personally led the most recent talks on January 23-24, held in Long Island, New York, and attended by Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias.
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