Rival Cyprus leaders map out intensified peace talks

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The rival leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus are meeting to take stock of where things stand in reunification talks ahead of an intensified phase of negotiations aiming at a peace deal by year’s end.

President Nicos Anastasiades, a Greek Cypriot, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci are meeting at a U.N. compound Wednesday to outline the points the agree and disagree on before launching the stepped-up talks.

Anastasiades said this would help make talks more productive by focusing efforts on tackling disagreements in forging a federation.

It’s their first meeting after Anastasiades paused the talks over a perceived bid to diplomatically upgrade the island’s breakaway Turkish Cypriot north.

A Turkish invasion in the wake of a 1974 coup aiming at union with Greece carved Cyprus along ethnic lines.

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