European Parliament urges leaders of divided Cyprus to solve problem

European Parliament President Josep Borell urged the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders Wednesday to renew efforts to end the island's 31-year division.

Borell's four-day visit to Cyprus coincided with the start of European Union membership talks with Turkey.

He reiterated support for a reunification plan drawn up by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. Greek-Cypriots rejected the plan in a referendum in April 2004, while Turkish Cypriots voted in favor.

"As you know the European Parliament supported strongly the Annan plan. We were disappointed by the fact the Greek Cypriot community did not approve it," Borell said after meeting Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded in the wake of a failed coup by supporters of union with Greece. The internationally recognized Greek Cypriot republic became a member of the EU last year, reports the AP. I.L.

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