Reunification Talks Convergences on Lesser Issues
Convergences in reunification talks are only on lesser issues and the main bones of contention are no closer to being settled unless Turkey's stance changes, said President Demetris Christofias from New York after his meeting with UN Secretary-general Ban ki-Moon.
Cyprus' leaders Christofias and Dervis Eroglu are conducting intensified - and confidential - talks to try and reach a plan to present to the UNSG by the end of October. During his meeting with Christofias, Ban ki-Moon urged both leaders to reach substantive agreements on the major issues such as property, territory and power sharing within a future united, federal Cyprus.
Commenting on upcoming talks with Eroglu, Christofias said that he hopes that Turkey's behaviour will change and that several sessions of intensive talks will follow his return to the island.
But recently, divisions between the two communities have been highlighted amid fresh disagreements over gas and oil exploration in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Just before Eroglu left for New York for his own round of contacts at the UN, he said that settlement talks will be negatively affected if the government proceeds with its hydrocarbon exploration plans. An agreement is being drawn up with Turkey which will help the Turkish-Cypriot community develop its own offshore hydrocarbon industry, said Eroglu.