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Europe

Deadline Looms for a Solution on Cyprus

United Nations envoy for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto warned Thursday in Athens that talks aimed at reuniting the island will not continue beyond May 1, when the island joins the EU.

United Nations envoy for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto warned Thursday in Athens that talks aimed at reuniting the island will not continue beyond May 1, when the island joins the EU. Despite this looming deadline, three weeks of talks in Nicosia between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders have not led to an agreement and both sides blame each other for the lack of progress in the negotiations. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan set a tight timetable for the talks. Greek and Turkish negotiators may join in if there is no agreement by March 22. ''The parties are moving ahead slowly," Annan said on Thursday. "We will stick to the timetable that we have agreed to which also entails my own involvement if the parties do not reach an agreement between themselves by the 22nd, 23rd of March," he said. But Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said he wanted more time for the negotiations. (EUobserver.com)

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