Rival Greek, Turkish Cypriots agree to start new round of talks to reunify divided island

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Efforts to reunify the ethnically divided Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus will recommence next week after rival Greek and Turkish Cypriots agreed to a new round of talks.

A statement from the breakaway Turkish Cypriots Friday said renewed talks became possible after both sides agreed on text of a joint declaration outlining the main principles that will guide a future accord.

The statement said a first meeting between the leaders is planned for the beginning of next week.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. The most recent round of reunification talks ground to a halt in the middle of 2012.

The two sides have been haggling over the wording of the joint declaration for several months.

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