Cyprus president answers critics over peace talks

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Associated Press

Posted on February 12, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 12 at 6:04 PM

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus' president moved to ease fears that his handling of renewed peace talks with breakaway Turkish Cypriots would scuttle chances for a fair reunification accord.

Nicos Anastasiades held a nationally televised news conference Wednesday to defend a document he agreed to with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu that paved the way for the resumption of peace talks a day earlier.

The document outlines key principles for an envisioned federation. Anastasiades rebuffed critics who decry the document as implying separate Turkish Cypriot statehood — something that would undermine a reunified state.

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup aiming to unite the island with Greece.

Anastasiades said many countries are now keen to see a peace accord because of Cyprus' new-found offshore gas deposits.

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