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Cyprus leaders discuss security during latest round of UN-backed talks

17 July 2009 – Security was again the focus during the latest round of United Nations-backed talks today between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders as they try to reach a solution that will unify the Mediterranean island.

Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met in Nicosia for several hours of discussions, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, told journalists.

“Next week, the leaders will continue to discuss security and they will also discuss… governance and power-sharing, and in the context of governance and power-sharing they will discuss aliens, immigration, asylum and citizenship,” Mr. Downer said.

He said the leaders also briefly discussed the mechanics of an agreement on the opening of a crossing between the two sides.

Today’s discussions were only the latest round of UN-backed talks between the two leaders aimed at reunifying the island of Cyprus.

In May 2008, Mr. Christofias and Mr. Talat committed themselves to working towards “a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions.”

The partnership would comprise a Federal Government with a single international personality, along with a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, which would be of equal status.

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