(dpa) - Moscow said it was willing to help with efforts to resolve the decades-old division of the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus on Thursday.
"I will visit Cyprus next week in order to study the possibilities in trying to bring a long-lasting solution," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov said during a visit to Athens where he held talks with Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni.
Titov said he applauded recent efforts by Greek Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to agree to restart stalled talks on reunifying the ethnically divided island.
With newly elected Christofias in office, expectations are running high for reunification talks to resume, stalled since a UN-brokered peace plan came to nothing almost four years ago when Greek Cypriots voted no.
Both Christofias and Talat agreed last month to resume peace talks by the end of June, open up the Ledra Street crossing and to set up several teams of experts to look at issues ranging from environment and health to property and territory disputes as part of their preparations for full negotiations.
The entire island has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the northern third of the island in response to a brief Greek- inspired coup.