Cyprus Will Resume Unity Talks

Opening of key street in divided capital signals thaw between Greek, Turkish blocs
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2008 2:25 PM CDT
Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat reacts as he talks, during an interview in his office in the Turkish occupied area of the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, Feb. 25, 2008.   (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
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(Newser) – Leaders of the Greek and Turkish portions of Cyprus said today they will restart negotiations on reunification of the Mediterranean island, Reuters reports. Dimitris Christofias, recently elected leader of Greek Cyprus, and Mehmet Ali Talat, who represents Turkish Cyprus, also announced that Ledra Street, a key shopping avenue long shut down in the divided capital, Nicosia, will reopen.

Reunification talk is seen as a boon for Turkey's bid for EU membership, long hindered by its backing of the independent Turkish sector of Cyprus. "It was the best possible result at this moment," one analyst said. "They have agreed on the process. The opening of Ledra Street, which has been a trouble spot for many years, is very symbolic."