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Borrell welcomes Papadopoulos-Talat meeting
2006-07-04 16:58:56

Brussels, Jul 4 (CNA) -- Josep Borrell, President of the European Parliament, has welcomed Monday's meeting between Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat, to discuss the issue of missing persons in Cyprus.

In a statement, Borrell expresses hope that this meeting will signal the start of the process for the resumption of dialogue between the island's two communities.

''This first meeting between the two leaders since the rejection of the UN plan for reunification by the Greek Cypriot community, in April 2004, constitutes an important sign,'' the statement said. Borrell recalls that during his official visit to the island, last October, he made it clear to the authorities that it was essential that contacts at the highest level were quickly resumed.

''I hope that today's (yesterday's) meeting will constitute a first stage in the process of resumption of the dialogue between the two sides. The fact that Mr Papadopoulos and Mr Talat implied that they were ready to meet again in this context is good news,'' he concludes.

Monday's meeting, which lasted over an hour, was the first encounter between the two men since UN-led talks on a UN proposed plan for a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus collapsed in March 2004.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

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