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Christofias, Eroglu Walk Out of Talks

christofias leaves talksPresident Demetris Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu walked out of this morning's direct talks, citing a fundamental disagreement on the basis of reunification negotiations.

In comments to the press, Christofias said that his advisors would sit down with their Turkish-Cypriot counterparts to discuss the issue and that there was no point in the leaders meeting until the basis is affirmed.

It was only the second time the two men met face-to-face, but talks have been going on for close to 20 months. Today's scheduled meeting lasted only 15 minutes and Christofias tried to cancel it at the last minute.

According to UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer, Christofias' representative George Iacovou called him at 10am to say that 'it would be better if the leaders meeting was postponed." However, they were unable to stop Eroglu's convoy in time.

"Mr Christofias, realizing that Mr Eroglu had nevertheless arrived, sent a message to say that he would come across and meet with Mr Eroglu.  So they had a brief meeting," said Downer.

Downer plans to travel to New York next week to meet with the UN Security Council to discuss the Cyprus issue, he said, but had no insight into the postponement of the leaders' meeting.

"If you want to go into the reason, I suggest you take that matter up with the two sides rather than us imposing ourselves as an interpreter," he told journalists.

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