Annan urges unification of divided Cyprus

Kofi Annan urges Cypriots to take action toward settling their divided island UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday urged Greek and Turkish Cypriots to make progress on ending the 32-year division of their divided island. "We want to see actions from both sides that close the gap between words and deeds," Annan told reporters after meeting with Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat. The meeting came as the European Union warned Turkey that it has to increase efforts to resolve a stalemate in the Cyprus issue if it wants to continue accession talks with the EU. Talat said he had had "a fruitful meeting" with Annan and said he hoped Greek and Turkish Cypriots to resume "full-fledged negotiations in the near future" on the reunification of the island. "We will act with all our goodwill," he told reporters. "We are very genuine and we really want the unification of the island and we will do our best." Annan is on a final visit to the UN European headquarters in Geneva before he leaves office, and earlier addressed a conference on biological weapons. Talat came to Geneva to meet him.