Work carried out jointly by Greek and Turkish Cypriots to restore an Orthodox Christian monastery is being hailed as a symbolic milestone for unity and peace on the divided eastern Mediterranean island.
Situated on the northeastern most tip of the Karpas peninsula in Cyprus' breakaway Turkish Cypriot north, the monastery is dedicated to one of Jesus' first disciples, St. Andrew, and has long been revered by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
Two years of work to restore the monastery's crumbling church wrapped up Monday at a cost of 2.23 million euros ($2.47 million).
Earlier on Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the negotiations aiming to end the partition of the disputed island were now at "a critical juncture."
Reunification talks between the Greek and Turkish communities on the island resumed in May 2015 and were expected to be resolved by the end of this year with the formation of a federal administration.
The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup on the island was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.
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