In Cyprus, representatives from the Greek and Turkish communities have opened talks to resolve their differences.
In Cyprus, representatives from the Greek and Turkish communities have opened talks to resolve their differences. The country has been split since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded the island and occupied 40 percent of its area. The latest meeting is the first between the two sides for more than two years.
SYNOPSIS: The discussions opened at the Ledra Palace Hotel in Nicosia on Friday (15 June) and followed several abortive attempts to bring both sides to the negotiating table. The way for the current talks was paved by a successful meeting last month (May) between President Spyros Kyprianou and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
Officials were optimistic that these talks would last three days, although the opening session was adjourned after just ninety minutes.
United Nations envoy, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, is chairman of the talks. He gave no reason for the brevity of the opening meeting and said only that procedural matters had been discussed.
On the same day (15 June) the United Nations Security Council met to review the situation. It renewed for another six months the mandate of the U.N. force in Cyprus and unanimously urged the two communities to proceed with talks in a "continuing, sustained and result-oriented manner."
After the Council President, Mr. Oleg Troyanovsky, summed up the vote, there were addresses by Cypriot delegate, Andreas Mavrommatis and Turkish delegate Mr. M. Atalay.