The FINANCIAL — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived on his first official visit to Cyprus on January 31 to help the divided island in reunification talks, according to RIA Novosti.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in response to a military coup on the island that was backed by Athens. The Turkish Cypriot state is recognized only by Turkey.
"I'm here to show my personal support … My visit is a reflection of the importance I attach to the current efforts," he told journalists at Larnaca airport, adding that "a solution [to the problem] is possible and within reach."
UN-mediated talks, aimed at the reunification of Cyprus, were held this month between the leaders of the Greek and the Turkish parts of the island.
The Greek Cypriot authorities rejected on January 10 proposals by the Turkish Cypriot leader on state regulations in case of the reunification of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat's proposals focused on the creation of a confederation-like state, while UN resolutions stipulate a federation should be created in the island.
In particular, the Turkish Cypriot leader has proposed to establish the position of vice president, who is to be elected from representatives of the Turkish community. Both the president and the vice president should have a veto right. Besides, Talat has proposed to replace a one-house parliament by a two-house body, with a half of seats in its upper house intended for representatives of the island's Turkish Cypriot minority.