NICOSIA, Cyprus -- UN special envoy Alexander Downer said on Tuesday (July 29th) the current situation in Cyprus offers the best chance to reunify the island after 34 years of division. "Developments in recent months have fostered a genuine sense that prospects have perhaps never been better to achieve a comprehensive settlement," he said at a news conference in the buffer zone after meeting Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. Downer expressed encouragement over what he heard during talks with them, saying "Clearly you have two leaders who are sincere in their commitment and their engagement to move forward together towards a solution." Downer is wrapping up his first trip to the island since being appointed envoy on July 12th.
In other news, Cypriot Education Minister Andreas Dimitriou said authorities would revise Greek Cypriot history textbooks to help build understanding with the Turkish Cypriot community. "The changes will compensate for some omissions concerning the island's turbulent recent history," he said. (Hurriyet, Turkish Press, CNA, Philelefteros, AFP, AP, Reuters - 29/07/08)