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Cypriot leaders agree to restart stalled unification talks

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Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı (L) faces Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades (R) during Cyprus Peace Talks on November 20, 2016 in Mont-Pelerin (AFP Photo)
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı (L) faces Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades (R) during Cyprus Peace Talks on November 20, 2016 in Mont-Pelerin (AFP Photo)

The United Nations says the leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus have agreed to immediately resume reunification talks, breaking a nearly two-week stalemate.

In a statement issued early Friday, the U.N. said Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek leader Nicos Anastasiades agreed to meet in Geneva next month.

The Jan. 9-12 talks in the Swiss city will aim to hammer out an agreement on the pivotal aspects of how much territory each side will control in an envisioned federation.

They will also bring together Greece, Turkey and Britain to decide on post-reunification security arrangements.

The announcement came after Anastasiades and Akıncı met for a dinner hosted by U.N. envoy Espen Barth Eide.

Mustafa Akıncı and Nicos Anastasiades had met in Mont Pelerin for the first round earlier this month between Nov. 7 and Nov. 11.

Reunification talks between the Greek and Turkish communities on the island resumed in May 2015 and were expected to be resolved by the end of this year with the formation of a federal administration.

The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.

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