Erdogan, Tsipras discuss Cyprus peace talks over phone

Erdogan, Tsipras discuss Cyprus peace talks over phone
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, on Monday exchanged views on Cyprus peace talks in a phone conversation, according to a statement issued by the Turkish presidency, Anadolu reported.

The two leaders pointed out the importance of having a constructive attitude for all sides in order to attain a positive result from the negotiations in Geneva, said the statement.

Erdogan and Tsipras agreed the coming talks in Geneva could be an important opportunity for reaching a settlement.

The Cyprus reunification talks started on Monday in Geneva.

Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci said last week the reunification referendum could be held in mid-2017 pending an agreement in Geneva.

If a deal is reached on territorial changes, negotiators are expected to announce a date for a final summit between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders and three other states involved in the process as guarantor countries: Turkey, Greece, and the U.K.

Reunification talks resumed in May 2015, and both sides have repeatedly expressed optimism that a solution would be found by the end of last year.

Once a final agreement is reached, it would be put to both communities in a referendum.

A UN-brokered peace deal was approved by Turkish Cypriots in 2004 but rejected by Greek Cypriot voters.