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UN dinner for Cyprus leaders in hopes of peace talks restart

Associated Press logo Associated Press 27/03/2017

ATHENS, Greece — The United Nations says its envoy to Cyprus will host a dinner for the ethnically divided island's rival leaders in hopes of getting stalled reunification talks back on track.

A statement Monday said U.N. envoy Espen Barth Eide will host the April 2 dinner at the defunct Ledra Palace Hotel inside the U.N.-controlled buffer zone that cuts across the capital, Nicosia.

The dinner is seen as an ice-breaker between breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the island's Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades after a month-long talks hiatus.

Negotiations broke off amid Turkish Cypriot anger over legislation making the commemoration of a 1950 referendum for Cyprus' union with Greece compulsory in Greek Cypriot schools.

Turkish Cypriot officials say talks can resume only once the "mistake" is corrected.

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