Representatives of the Turkish and Greek communities on Cyprus ended a 14-month absence from the negotiating table on Tuesday (16 September) with a one-hour meeting.
GV & SV EXT IN Nicosia: United Nations troops watching demonstrators. (3 SHOTS)
GV U.N. car arrives outside Ledra Palace Hotel; moves past demonstrators.
GV Troops moving along lien of demonstrators. (2 SHOTS)
GV Troops on rooftop of hotel and armoured vehicles. (4 SHOTS)
GV Delegates arriving for talks.
SV INTERIOR U.N. Special representative in Cyprus, Hugo Gobbi seated.
SV Turkish representative Slueiman Onnan (with spectacles in centre).
GV Greek representative George Ioannides (bald head) talking PAN TO other delegates.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Representatives of the Turkish and Greek communities on Cyprus ended a 14-month absence from the negotiating table on Tuesday (16 September) with a one-hour meeting. It was the first of a new series of weekly sessions aimed at reuniting the divided island.
SYNOPSIS: Security was strict. United Nations peace-keeping troops reinforced their positions at the Ledra Palace Hotel in the buffer zone dividing Nicosia. It's the venue for the negotiations and the Canadian U.N. troops' headquarters. The United Nations has repeatedly tried to mediate a settlement between the Greek and Turkish communities on the island, but all attempt have failed so far. A crowd of demonstrators accompanied the re-opening of the talks. They were a group of Greek refugees, picketing the delegates.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when troops from mainland Turkey occupied almost 40 percent of the island following an abortive coup against the late President, Archbishop Makarios, inspired by the Greek junta then in power in Athens. The 14-months break in negotiation was due to disagreement over a U.N. statement setting out the common ground achieved so far.
U. N. representative Hugo Gobbi chaired Tuesday's (16 September) meeting. The talks concentrated on the once-thriving Greek Cypriot holiday resort of Vasosha in Famagusta now empty and decaying. It is guarded by some of the estimated 25 thousand Turkish troops on the island. The Turkish Cypriots have agreed to hand it back, but only as part of an overall solution. They are expected to reply to the Greek Cypriot view of the issue when the subject is against discussed next month.