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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

UN Talks on Cyprus Continuing

UNITED NATIONS -- After a fruitless first round of talks, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was set to try again Wednesday for a deal with Greek and Turkish Cypriots to unify Cyprus before its May 1 entry into the European Union.

"We hope that after a night and a morning of reflection, we will come to a close," Veteran UN negotiator Alvaro de Soto said after Tuesday's talks, which adjourned a little over two hours after they began.

Serdar Denktash, son of veteran Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, told reporters, "Things are moving in the right direction."

Others close to the talks said no progress had been made.

"We will see each other again tomorrow. We are not yet in a position to make a conclusion," Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos told reporters as he left UN headquarters.

Diplomats have billed the high-stakes talks as the final chance for an end to three decades of division on the Mediterranean island as the Greek Cypriot government in the south prepares for EU membership in May.

Annan, hosting the negotiations, had hoped Tuesday's meetings would lead to a quick agreement on a work program and ground rules for later talks in Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when troops from Turkey occupied the north of the island in response to a coup in Nicosia engineered by the junta then ruling Greece.

Turkey and Greece, the patrons of the island's two ethnic communities, both station troops there. Ankara has about 30,000 soldiers in the northern third, while Athens keeps fewer than 5,000 in the Greek Cypriot south.