NICOSIA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- The two big parties of Cyprus, right wing ruling DISY and left wing opposition AKEL, will join forces in a bid to facilitate the resumption of the stalled peace negotiations aimed at ending the division of the eastern Mediterranean island, party officials said on Thursday.
Spokesmen for the two parties told state radio that the parties will vote in favor of legislation in about two weeks' time which will hopefully convince the Turkish Cypriots to return to the negotiating table.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, had pulled out of the negotiations and demanded "corrective action" on a so-called "enosis" vote, meaning union with Greece.
The vote would have introduced a brief annual commemoration in state schools of a 1950 referendum in which Greek Cypriots had expressed their wish to integrate Cyprus into Greece.
DISY has 18 seats and AKEL 16 seats in the 56-member House of Representatives, the other 22 votes divided among 6 smaller "middle-path" parties which share nationalist views on a Cyprus solution.
The legislation scraped through on Wednesday after an acrimonious debate by the education parliamentary committee which sent it to a plenary session on April 5.
DISY, considered to be Cyprus's middle-upper class party, and AKEL, which says is a communist party adapted to a capitalist economy, are poles apart on almost everything.
However, they share almost identical views on the need to reach a settlement between Greek and Turkish Cypriots that will reunify the country, which was divided along ethnic lines when Turkey occupied its northern part in 1974, in reaction a coup inspired by Greece's military rulers.
The legislation, introduced by DISY, aims at shifting decision-making power on school celebrations from parliament to the education ministry.
"We do not agree with the purpose of the legislation but we'll vote in favor when it comes for discussion by the full House, as our party's concern is to have the negotiations restarted as soon as possible," said AKEL's parliamentary spokesman Giorgos Loukaides.
DISY parliamentary spokesman Nicos Tornaritis said that the primary aim of the proposed legislation was not to appease the Turkish Cypriot side, as it had been announced even before Akinci left the negotiations, but added that his return to the talks would be a most welcome development.
The scheduling of the debate on the proposed law came a few hours before Cypriot President Anastasiades met with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York.
Anastasaides said after the 40-minute meeting that it was their "shared expectation that the dialogue could restart soon".