Immigration and citizenship the focus of latest UNbacked Cyprus talks

23 July 2009Immigration, asylum and citizenship issues topped the agenda during today’s round of the ongoing United Nations-backed talks between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders on the possible reunification of the Mediterranean island. Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat held a two-hour tête-à-tête in Nicosia, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative Tayé-Brook Zerihoun told journalists.The two leaders agreed to meet again next Thursday and then on 6 August to continue their discussions on immigration, asylum and citizenship issues, Mr. Zerihoun said.Next Monday the two sides are expected to continue discussions on the implementation of an earlier agreement on a border crossing.The UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus (known as UNFICYP) and the UN Country Team are also expected to brief the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the latest developments.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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