Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders on Monday held the first of two top-level meetings scheduled for this week, under United Nations sponsorship, as they intensified their efforts to reunify the Mediterranean island which has been split for almost 50 years.
“The leaders had a good and long discussion on Monday for around two and a half hours,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, told reporters following the meeting between Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, Dervis Eroglu. “It was a good opportunity for them to talk about a range of issues.”
Downer added that the pair would meet again on Friday, when the talks would focus on governance and power-sharing.
“All chapters are being negotiated with the aim of increasing the points of convergence on the understanding that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” the Special Adviser said.
The leaders have met more than 90 times since the UN-sponsored talks began in 2008 with the aim of setting up a federal government with a single international personality in a bi-zonal, bi-communal country, with Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot constituent states of equal status.
The leaders’ representatives have also met scores of times and will hold another meeting on Wednesday to discuss issues ahead of Friday’s top-level talks.