Cyprus urges immediate UN bid for quick peace talks restart

Cyprus' foreign minister is urging an immediate U.N. bid to scope out prospects of quickly restarting moribund talks to reunify the ethnically divided island.

Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides on Monday hailed U.N. chief Antonio Guterres' decision to task an official with figuring out whether conditions are again ripe for another round of peace talks.

Mustafa Akinci, the leader of the breakaway Turkish Cypriots, has also welcomed the move.

However, it's unclear whether Guterres will dispatch a representative for contacts in the region before or after Turkey's June 24 national election.

Numerous rounds of negotiations over more than four decades have gone nowhere. The most recent talks collapse was in July last year.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.