World

Cyprus's rival leaders agree to open 2 more crossings through island's north-south divide

  • Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, right, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, center, shake hands next to the United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide, left, after their meeting at a UN compound inside the the U.N buffer zone at the abandoned Nicosia airport in the Cypriot divided capital Nicosia on Thursday, May 28, 2015. The leaders of Cyprus' rival Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities have agreed to open two more crossing points across the island’s north-south divide as reunification negotiations ramp up. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, right, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, center, shake hands next to the United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide, left, after their meeting at a UN compound inside the the U.N buffer zone at the abandoned Nicosia airport in the Cypriot divided capital Nicosia on Thursday, May 28, 2015. The leaders of Cyprus' rival Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities have agreed to open two more crossing points across the island’s north-south divide as reunification negotiations ramp up. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

  • Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, right, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, left, and United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide, center, leave their talks after a meeting at a UN compound inside the the U.N buffer zone at the abandoned Nicosia airport in the Cypriot divided capital Nicosia on Thursday, May 28, 2015. The leaders of Cyprus' rival Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities have agreed to open two more crossing points across the island’s north-south divide as reunification negotiations ramp up. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, right, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, left, and United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide, center, leave their talks after a meeting at a UN compound inside the the U.N buffer zone at the abandoned Nicosia airport in the Cypriot divided capital Nicosia on Thursday, May 28, 2015. The leaders of Cyprus' rival Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities have agreed to open two more crossing points across the island’s north-south divide as reunification negotiations ramp up. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

  • United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide, center, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, right, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, left, make a statement after their meeting at a UN compound inside the the U.N buffer zone at the abandoned Nicosia airport in the Cypriot divided capital Nicosia on Thursday, May 28, 2015. The leaders of Cyprus' rival Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities have agreed to open two more crossing points across the island’s north-south divide as reunification negotiations ramp up. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

    United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide, center, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, right, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, left, make a statement after their meeting at a UN compound inside the the U.N buffer zone at the abandoned Nicosia airport in the Cypriot divided capital Nicosia on Thursday, May 28, 2015. The leaders of Cyprus' rival Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities have agreed to open two more crossing points across the island’s north-south divide as reunification negotiations ramp up. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)  (The Associated Press)

The leaders of Cyprus' rival Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities have agreed to open two more crossing points across the island's north-south divide as reunification negotiations ramp up.

United Nations envoy Espen Barth Eide made the announcement Thursday after Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and leader of the breakaway Turkish Cypriots Mustafa Akinci met for the second time after long-halted peace talks resumed earlier this month.

Cyprus was divided along ethnic lines in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup aiming to unite the tiny east Mediterranean island with Greece.

The agreement on border crossing aims to inject more momentum into the talks as well as to win over sceptics by underscoring the leaders' commitment to solving the decades-old problem with tangible steps beyond feel-good pronouncements.