Turkish Cypriot leader to meet with Rice for talks

Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will visit Washington on Oct. 28 for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, an official said Monday. A spokesman for Talat said the agenda for the visit was not yet clear, but the Turkish Cypriot leader may also meet with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York.

U.N.-sponsored talks on Cyprus have been deadlocked since April 2004 when Greek Cypriots rejected a reunification plan drafted by Annan. Turkish Cypriots had accepted the deal.

The island has been divided into a Greek Cypriot south and Turkish Cypriot north since 1974, when Turkey invaded following an Athens-backed coup on the island. Cyprus joined the European Union in May 2004, but the island's division has excluded Turkish Cypriots from most benefits, reports the AP. I.L.

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