Merkel to make 1st German leader visit to Cyprus

January 11, 2011 13:59

NICOSIA, Cyprus — In the first visit by a German leader to war-divided Cyprus, Chancellor Angela Merkel flies to the island Tuesday to help promote its long-running reunification talks.

Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias has described the brief visit as being of "fundamental importance" for peace negotiations now in their third year.Cyprus was split into an internationally recognized Greek Cypriot south and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north in 1974 when Turkey invaded in response to a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

Talks between Christofias, a Greek Cypriot, and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, have produced only limited progress.

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