AFP - The head of the UN, which seeks to advance the process of reunifying the divided island of Cyprus since 1974, brought together leaders Sunday Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot, a suburb of New York.
Talks between Demetris Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus, Dervis Eroglu, leader of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), will last until Monday evening.
A brief press conference will be held later in the day Sunday, it was appropriate to UN source.
The President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso on Friday called the two leaders to "seize the opportunity" to reach agreement on the reunification of their island and expects "tangible results" of this meeting in New York.
The objective now is to reach agreement before Cyprus does the rotating presidency of the EU in July 2012.
In July in Geneva, Mr. Ban said - after meeting with MM. Christofias and Eroglu - he expected significant progress on this issue by the end of October.
Since they started in September 2008, meetings between the two leaders of the island under the auspices of the UN, have failed to significant progress.
The UN still hopes to draft a clear roadmap on how the two leaders intend to settle disputes to reach an agreement to reunify, as territorial adjustments, security arrangements and property issues.
Cyprus is divided into a Greek and a Turkish side since Turkish troops occupied in 1974 one third of the island in response to a coup inspired by Athens and aimed at rallying in Cyprus to Greece.
The Republic of Cyprus is internationally recognized as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is proclaimed and recognized only by Ankara.
In a report to the Security Council in March, Mr. Ban said he was "worried" the lack of progress, against the backdrop of "increasingly skeptical about the fact that an agreement could be reached."
Greek Cypriot President Christofias, has in turn repeatedly denounced the position of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey.
Recently, regional tensions have increased with the signing of an agreement between the Republic of Cyprus and the U.S. company Noble. This provides for exploratory drilling of a gas field located off the southern coast of the island.
Turkey refuses to recognize the Republic of Cyprus considers that the Greek Cypriot government has no right to conduct research on the high seas of hydrocarbons as the island remains divided.
Ankara responded by signing an agreement with the TRNC to conduct similar research off the island.