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UN chief to host meeting with Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot leaders in July

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will host a joint meeting of the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities on 7 July in Geneva, his office has announced, stressing the need for both leaders to accelerate the process of negotiations aimed at the reunification of Cyprus.

The July meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, Dervis Eroglu, will be a follow up on previous meetings between the Secretary-General and the two leaders in New York on 18 November last year and in Geneva on 26 January this year.

�He expects the leaders to take advantage of this meeting, and the period leading up to it, to work jointly and concretely toward reaching that objective [mutually acceptable and lasting settlement on Cyprus],� said a statement issued by the spokesperson of the Secretary-General last night.

The UN has been facilitating talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leadership with a view to the eventual establishment of a Federal Government with a single international personality, consisting of a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, each of equal status.

The world body has maintained a peacekeeping force on the island � known by its acronym UNFICYP � since 1964, with a current strength of nearly 1,000 uniformed personnel and 150 international and national civilian staff.

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