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Cyprus: Lawmakers amend law ensuring peace talks restart

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/04/2017

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Lawmakers in ethnically divided Cyprus have amended a controversial law about a commemoration in Greek Cypriot schools that angered breakaway Turkish Cypriots and led to reunification talks breaking off.

The amendment, which gives the education minister full discretion over such commemorations, was passed Friday by a vote of 30-20 with the support from the two largest Greek Cypriot parties.

The move clears the way for peace talks to resume April 11 after a near two-month break.

The law had made the brief schoolroom commemoration of a 1950 referendum for the island's union with Greece mandatory. Turkish Cypriots saw it as a deviation from the stated goal of reunifying the island as a federation, something that Greek Cypriots strongly denied.

Turkish Cypriots said talks could restart after the law is repealed.

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