Work carried out jointly by Greek and Turkish Cypriots to restore an Orthodox Christian monastery is being hailed as a symbolic milestone for unity and peace on the ethnically divided eastern Mediterranean island.

Situated on the northeastern most tip of the Karpas peninsula in Cyprus' breakaway Turkish Cypriot north, the monastery is dedicated to one of Jesus' first disciples, St. Andrew, and has long been revered by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Two years of work to restore the monastery's crumbling church wrapped up Monday at a cost of 2.23 million euros ($2.47 million).

A 1974 Turkish invasion that followed a coup aiming at union with Greece left the island divided. A key phase of U.N.-backed reunification talks is now underway in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland.