Turkish- and Greek-Cypriot talks show signs of movement

Indirect negotiations here between Turkish- and Greek-Cypriot leaders over the future of the divided nation have been marked by an unusual flexibility on the Turkish-Cypriot side, diplomats say.

The third round of talks has just been recessed and is expected to resume in about 10 days.

Turkish and Greek Cypriots now appear very close to an agreement on the territorial issue, which would leave the Turkish Cypriots with approximately 29 percent of the island's territory.

A timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Cyprus has also been worked out with and agreed upon by both parties, sources here say.

Other bureaucratic mechanisms to help keep the state from coming to a complete standstill during conflicts between Greek and Turkish Cypriot executives are close to agreeement.

The major stumbling block yet to be addressed concerns the shape and powers of the future government.

Greek-Cypriot leader Spyros Kyprianou is expected to return from Cyprus soon with his government's reaction to Turkish proposals.

''The question on everyone's mind,'' says one Western diplomat, ''is whether Turkish-Cypriot President Rauf Denktash showed flexibility merely as a tactical ploy - a way to send the ball back into the Greek-Cypriot camp - or whether he acted under pressure exerted by Turkey's NATO allies who may wish the Cypriot question to be resolved once and for all.

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