The United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-moon has said he is confident a solution to bridge differences on divided Cyprus can be found.
The island’s estranged Greek and Turkish leaders have been locked in peace negotiations for the past 16 months, but progress has been painfully slow.
While some movement has been made over power sharing, issues such as ownership of territory and security remain key sticking points. Earlier, Ban met with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in a bid to re-energise the reconciliation talks.
‘‘Reaching a mutually acceptable conclusion will require courage, flexibility and vision as well as a spirit of compromise,’‘ Ban said.
But, any agreement between the two sides would have to go to a referendum. In 2004 Greek Cypriots rejected a UN power-sharing plan while the islands Turkish voters accepted it.
That resulted in the northern part of the Island being left out of the EU, when Athens joined a few days later.
Cyprus was separated in 1974 after a Turkish invasion and Ankara’s bid to join the 27 member bloc hinges partly on a Cyprus peace deal.