Cyprus leaders agree to accelerate peace talks
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias, in a new round of talks to reunite the island, decided yesterday to accelerate the negotiations and meet twice a week in October. After meeting in the buffer zone dividing the island, the two leaders declined to talk to reporters, but in a short statement, UN Special Cyprus Representative Taye-Brook Zerihoun said the leaders discussed executive powers under the framework of administration and power sharing. He added that they would meet again on Oct. 5, 7, 8, 14 and 15. Meanwhile, Greek Cypriot media reported that UN Special Envoy to Cyprus Alexander Downer said the leaders had returned to the negotiations with the awareness that finding a solution now is a must. Downer also said Talat and Christofias are close friends and this should not be underrated. "Should the Cyprus talks fail, the UN does not as yet have any other plans," he added.