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Turkish Cypriot leader says Cyprus division could be solved by end of year

Turkish Cypriot leader says Cyprus division could be solved by end of year

The decades-long division of Cyprus could be resolved by the end of the year, the leader of the breakaway Turkish Cypriots said Monday.
"I believe that it won't be a surprise if we solve the problem by the end of 2008," said Mehmet Ali Talat, a day after Dimitris Christofias won Cyprus' presidential election on a pledge to restart stalled talks to reunify the island.
Cyprus has been divided into a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north and a Greek Cypriot south since 1974, when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup attempting to unite the island with Greece.
Decades of diplomatic efforts to heal the rift on the island have failed to resolve the problem. Talks have been stalled since Greek Cypriots rejected a U.N. reunification plan in 2004. Turkish Cypriots approved the blueprint.
Christofias' election Sunday, after the ouster of hardline Tassos Papadopoulos in a surprise first round election result last week, has sparked hope for eventually resolving the division.
"The Greek Cypriot people decided on change. They chose a person who can make that change," Talat said.
Christofias has pledged to meet with Talat, although a date or venue for that meeting has not been determined.
Christofias said Monday that he hoped to set up an initial meeting soon.
"Naturally, the U.N. will be involved as usual, and I believe that soon we will arrange a first exploratory meeting" with Talat, he said.
He said no date had been set, but that he would first conduct an official visit to Athens next week, and then head to Brussels before returning home.


Updated : 2021-05-17 09:48 GMT+08:00