Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias is due to meet Dervis Eroglu, leader of the Turkish-Cypriot breakaway state, to resume talks on reunifying the Mediterranean island.
The United Nations-facilitated talks at Greentree Estate in Long Island, New York on Monday and Tuesday, will be overseen by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
In a recent statement issued by his spokesperson, the UN chief said he “looks forward to a productive meeting and concrete progress.”
The UN's secretary general has previously set Nicosia’s scheduled assumption of the European Union presidency – on July 1 – as the deadline for a long-elusive settlement to the Cyprus problem.
Both Christofias and Eroglu have expressed their intention to reach a settlement, but each accuses the other side of intransigence.
Cyprus’s Greek and Turkish-speaking communities have been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded the north of the island. Exploration drilling launched by Nicosia last year prompted Turkey, which doesn’t recognize the Greek Cypriot government, to send warships to the area. Ankara has urged Cyprus to freeze oil exploration until a settlement is reached so that the Turkish Cypriot community can benefit from revenues.
Cyprus has said revenues will benefit Greek and Turkish Cypriots because reunification will be achieved before the fuel is shipped.