Progress in Cyprus Unity Talks

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades (R), and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, walk at a main shopping street on the occupied side of the island. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA — A United Nations envoy says intensified talks aimed at reunifying ethnically divided Cyprus have made further progress and the island’s rival leaders are confident remaining issues can be resolved soon.

Espen Barthe Eide says Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and the leader of the breakaway Turkish Cypriots, Mustafa Akinci, remain committed to reaching a peace accord “as soon as possible.”

Eide said Nov. 25 after the leaders’ sixth meeting this month that they’ve agreed to set up a committee of experts to examine the education systems on both sides of the divide to help foster cooperation and contribute to peace.

The leaders will meet three more times December.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of uniting the island with Greece.