NICOSIA - The Associated Press

Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat, right, Greek Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias, center, and UN envoy Alexander Downer. AA photo
Cyprus' rival leaders say they are convinced a deal to reunify the divided island remains within reach as negotiations break for a crucial Turkish Cypriot election next month.

Greek Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat say they are encouraged by "important progress" made after 19 months of talks.

United Nations envoy Alexander Downer read out a joint statement on behalf of the two leaders after talks Tuesday.

The talks will resume after Turkish Cypriots vote in an April 18 poll. Opinion polls show moderate Talat trailing to a hard-liner.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey intervened after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.