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Turkish President to Press UN on Stalled Cyprus Peace Process


Turkish President Abdullah Gul says he will press United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon next week to revive the stalled Cyprus peace process.

The ongoing division of Cyprus between the internationally-recognized Greek Cypriot government in the south and a breakaway Turkish enclave in the north threatens to stall Turkey's entry into the European Union.

Mr. Gul spoke in Ankara Thursday at a joint news conference with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

The Turkish president is to visit the White House next week for talks with President Bush, before meeting Mr. Ban in New York.

The European trade bloc has frozen membership negotiations with Turkey in eight policy areas, because of Ankara's refusal to open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot traffic.

For his part, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has blocked U.N. efforts to ease trade restrictions against the Turkish Cypriots, in a push to block any de facto recognition of the Turkish enclave.

The Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded in response to a coup in Nicosia aiming at uniting Cyprus with Greece.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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