UN chief pledges help for talks to re­unify di­vided Cyprus

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

UNITED NA­TIONS (AP): THE UNITED Na­tions sec­re­tary-gen­eral is promis­ing to lend his per­sonal sup­port to ri­val Cypriot lead­ers who are locked in in com­plex talks aimed at re­uni­fy­ing the eth­ni­cally di­vided is­land na­tion.

Ban Ki-moon said the UN and he will per­son­ally do “our ut­most” to as­sist Greek Cypriot Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades and break­away Turk­ish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak­inci reach a peace deal to the decades-old prob­lem.

Ban, who met with both lead­ers Sun­day, called on them to “make the most” of the time ahead to over­come hur­dles still im­ped­ing an ac­cord.

He said “time is of the essence” and called the pe­riod ahead “cru­cial”. Both Anas­tasi­ades and Ak­inci have said they aimed to reach a deal by year end.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey in­vaded af­ter a coup that aimed at union with Greece.

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