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Cypriot leaders to meet on March 21 March 12, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus News, Cyprus Occupied, Politics.
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Newly elected Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will meet on March 21 to try to relaunch talks to reunite the island, a United Nations spokesman said on Wednesday.

“The date of the meeting has been set for March 21st,” Jose Diaz, a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Cyprus, told Reuters.

Christofias was elected last month, pledging to end a stalemate in talks between the Greek and Turkish communities on the eastern Mediterranean island, which remains a hurdle to Turkey’s aspirations to join the European Union.

Cyprus was divided in 1974, when Turkish troops invaded its northern third in response to a brief coup by Greek-Cypriot extremists at the urging of the military then ruling Greece.

Reunification talks stalled in 2004 when Greek Cypriots rejected a U.N. blueprint, which was accepted by the Turkish Cypriots.The two sides agreed in 2006 to look at an incremental approach to negotiations, but that too has stalled because of disputes over its agenda.

Christofias’s predecessor, Tassos Papadopoulos, last met with Talat in September 2007. The meeting reaffirmed a deadlock in negotiations.

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