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Turkish Cypriot Leader: Settlement on Cyprus Possible This Year

FILE - Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu attends a photo call during a meeting with the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cyprus communities at the Greentree estate in Manhasset, New York.
Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu said he believes there can be a settlement in the 40 year-long division of Cyprus this year.

Eroglu said after talks in New York Monday with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that his goal is reaching a deal with Greek Cypriots in the shortest possible time and having both sides put the agreement to serrate referendums.

A U.N. spokesman said Ban reaffirmed his continuing personal attention to Cyprus and is committed to helping both sides reach a deal.

Talks on reunifying Cyprus resumed in February after a nearly two year long stalemate over such sensitive issues as property rights and limiting the number of Greek and Turkish troops on the island.

Cyprus was split into a Turkish Cypriot north and a Greek Cypriot south in 1974 when Turkish troops invaded in response to a coup by Cypriots who wanted to become a part of Greece.

Only Turkey recognizes a separate government in the north.

Cyprus joined the European Union in 2003, but only Greek Cypriots enjoy the benefits.