UN envoy says Cyprus peace talks enter new phase

AP News
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Posted: Sep 17, 2014 7:29 AM

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A United Nations envoy says talks to reunify the ethnically divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus have moved up a gear with Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders looking to bridge gaps on core issues.

Following a meeting with both leaders, Espen Barth Eide said Wednesday that negotiations "are really beginning now" as the earlier preparatory phases where both sides spelled out their positions have ended.

Cyprus was split into an internationally recognized, Greek Cypriot south and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

Peace talks resumed in February after the two sides agreed on an outline of key principles underpinning an envisioned federation. But important differences remain on issues like power sharing and foreign military intervention rights.