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Rival Cyprus leaders: No peace talks restart yet - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Cyprus' president Nicos Anastasiades, center  right, and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, center left, talk to the media after their meeting in the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, November 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Cyprus’ president Nicos Anastasiades, center right, and Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu, center left, talk to the media after their meeting in the divided capital, Nicosia, on November 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Nicosia, AP—The rival leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus on Monday failed to agree on resuming stalled talks aimed at reunifying the country.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu said after an informal meeting that obstacles remain in restarting full-fledged peace negotiations.

“Unfortunately, there’s still some way to go before we can arrive at the hoped-for result,” Anastasiades said after emerging from the three-hour meeting at a restaurant inside the United Nations-controlled buffer zone dividing the capital.

Cyprus was split into an internationally recognized Greek Cypriot south and the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north in 1974, when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Turkish Cypriots declared independence in 1983, but only Turkey, which maintains 35,000 troops there, recognizes it.

Numerous rounds of peace talks over the last four decades have led nowhere.

The extraordinary meeting was the first face-to-face talks the two men have had in months. Anastasiades had requested the meeting in hopes that a sit-down between the two men without the presence of a UN envoy would clear up hurdles standing in the way of a resumption of peace talks.

The two sides cannot agree on a joint statement sketching out how the small country of roughly a million people would be reunified.

Anastasiades says a statement clearly outlining what talks should aim for is essential in avoiding long, inconclusive talks. He insists the aim for a future federated Cyprus with a single sovereignty needs to be encoded in the joint statement.

But Eroğlu says a statement is unnecessary since all issues would be taken up in negotiations, putting the impasse to the Greek Cypriot side’s insistence on including “issues of substance” in the joint statement.

Both men said there won’t be a let-up in efforts to arrive at a statement that would enable the resumption of peace talks.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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