UN Security Council supports talks to settle differences in Cyprus
The UN Security Council Friday gave "strong support" to negotiations between leaders of Cyprus's Greek and Turkish communities to resolve decades-old issues dividing the island, dpa reported.
The council's president for November, Portugal's UN Ambassador Jose Cabral, told reporters following a closed-door session with Alexander Downer, the UN representative in Cyprus, that the council supports the way the talks were being conducted.
"It's very clear that the council agrees on the need for the parties to make extra efforts and show political will for the negotiations to produce the best way," Cabral said.
Downer, a former Australian foreign minister, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, met with Greek Cypriot leader Demitris Christofias and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, Dervis Eroglu, for two days of talks in Long Island, New York, last weekend.
Ban said the talks led him to believe that a comprehensive settlement "can be achieved." He said the parties will resume discussion in January at the same location.
Cyprus is divided between Turkish Cypriots in the north and Greek Cypriots in the south. A UN peacekeeping mission has been manning a ceasefire line between the two communities. The Greek Cypriot part of the island is a member of the European Union and UN while the north received no such recognition.