United Nations, Sep 29 (IANS UN Secretary -General Ban Ki-moon Saturday met Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and the two discussed how to find “a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem”.
During the meeting, “they exchanged views on ways of revitalizing the negotiations to find a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem and discussed the work of the bi-communal technical committees”, said a readout to the press from Ban’s spokesman, Xinhua reported.
“They discussed hydrocarbons exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the readout said. The secretary-general recalled that these resources could prove very beneficial for both communities and finance a settlement.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish forces invaded the island in response to a Greek-led coup apparently aimed at making it part of Greece.
Numerous UN-mediated attempts to reach a peace agreement over three decades have failed.
Some progress has been made on a power-sharing formula under a future federation, but negotiations have run into trouble on the issue of property lost during the war.
The last attempt at a negotiated solution to the Cypriot problem in 2004 collapsed when Turkish Cypriots voted in favour of a UN settlement plan, but Greek Cypriots rejected it.
As a result, Cyprus – or the southern part ruled by Greek Cypriots – joined the European Union that year, while the north remained effectively excluded.