U.N. Leader Seeks Elusive Unity Deal in Cyprus

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After decades of ethnic strife, political wrangling and fruitless diplomacy, leaders of Cyprus’s divided communities began meetings Monday with the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, months before elections that could further complicate the quest for a settlement.

Mr. Ban arrived Sunday for his first visit to Cyprus, which has been split in two since Turkish troops invaded in 1974 after a coup attempt by Greek Cypriots seeking union with mainland Greece. Since then, untold hours of negotiations have failed to bridge deep resentments and suspicions rooted in faith, conflict and history.

Turkey still maintains some 35,000 troops on the island, and a United Nations force patrols the so-called Green Line — the division between the Turkish Cypriot north, which has declared itself to be a republic and is recognized only by Turkey, and the Greek Cypriot south, whose leaders represent the island in the European Union and internationally....

In October, Demetris Christofias, the Greek Cypriot leader and president of Cyprus, gave a gloomy assessment of the prospects for ending the partition of the island and warned the European Union against appeasing Turkey in the way Germany was treated before World War II.

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