Turkish Cypriot President aims for solution in 2008

Talat talked toTurkish President Abdullah Gul in Ankara before the start of talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Turkish Cypriot President aims for solution in 2008
Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat said on Thursday he hoped a solution to the problem of ethnically-divided Cyprus could be found by the end of the year.

"We aim to solve the Cyprus problem within 2008. We think that a solution is possible in this short time frame. We will be at the table with all our goodwill," Talat told a news conference in Ankara ahead of peace talks next week between Greek and Turkish Cypriots on the Mediterranean island.

Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias are to launch comprehensive reunification talks on Sept. 3 after decades of separation, raising hopes of ending a deadlock that has been harming Turkey's ambition to join the European Union.

Talat was speaking after talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

Divided after a Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek inspired coup, Cyprus has frustrated a long list of mediators attempting to reconcile the island's two communities.

Peace talks had been in limbo since Greek Cypriots in the south rejected a U.N. unification blueprint in 2004, accepted by northern Turkish Cypriots.

The climate has improved dramatically since the election of Christofias in Cypriot presidential elections in February, replacing hardliner Tassos Papadopoulos.

Christofias, whose party has maintained close ties with Turkish Cypriots, is generally viewed as more moderate on reunification.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Ağustos 2008, 16:02