New Turkish Cypriot leader to hold 1st meeting with Greek Cypriot counterpart this week

A Cypriot government official says the country's president, Nicos Anastasiades, will hold his first meeting with new Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci this week.

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides says the two men spoke on the telephone Tuesday and agreed to meet Saturday, less than a week after Akinci's election win.

Christodoulides said the venue has yet to be determined.

He said the two men could delve into ways of nudging forward stalled negotiations aimed at reunifying the ethnically divided island, which are expected to resume next month.

It will be the first meeting between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders since September last year, a month after Anastasiades put talks on hold in protest at Turkey's search for gas in waters where the Cypriot government had licensed companies to drill.