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President Christofias and Mr. Talat to Meet in Coming Weeks
2008-06-19 10:38:35

Brussels, Jun 19 - Cypriot President Demetris Christofias said on Thursday he will be having two meetings with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, one towards the end of June and one in July.

Speaking at the European Policy Center in Brussels, President Christofias said that the next confidence building measures should include the disengagement of the old town of Nicosia and the opening of a crossing point to and from the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus at Limnitis village, on the northwest.

Military exercises in the area must be avoided as part of these measures, he added.

The President expressed hope that the Turkish army would not obstruct the implementation of these measures.

In his address, President Christofias elaborated on his vision for a reunited Cyprus under a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

''My vision is the reunification of the island, a federal bizonal, bicommunal Republic of Cyprus, and I believe that this vision is also the vision of every Cypriot, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot, who loves his country,'' he said.

The President said he was optimistic that the future of Cyprus will be ''bright and peaceful.''

The Christofias – Talat meetings are part of an ongoing process to help resume direct negotiations between the leaders of the island’s two communities, in a bid to reunite Cyprus, which has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

In the past several weeks, bicommunal teams of experts have been meeting to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations.

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