Cyprus peace talks to resume, leaders meet February 11: U.N.

NICOSIA Sat Feb 8, 2014 8:22am EST

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NICOSIA (Reuters) - The leaders of Cyprus's estranged Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities will resume peace talks on February 11, the United Nations said on Saturday, breaking an 18-month stalemate.

President Nicos Anastasiades, the Greek Cypriot leader, and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will meet at a UN compound straddling the island's divided capital city, Nicosia, the UN said.

Earlier, both sides said they had accepted a new roadmap for the negotiations, outlined in a joint statement that would be read at the resumption of talks. It is their first formal meeting since negotiations stalled in mid-2012.

"The hardest part is ahead of us," Anastasiades told reporters in Athens on Friday. "The joint statement is not a solution to the Cyprus problem but sets out the parameters within which the two communities must work," he said.

The Greek and Turkish communities on the Mediterranean island have lived separately since a Turkish invasion in 1974 launched in response to a Greek-led coup.

The invasion came after years of sporadic fighting between the two sides and the collapse of a power-sharing government soon after independence from Britain in 1960.

Greek Cypriots represent the island internationally and in the European Union, which Turkey sees as a threat to its membership aspirations.

(Reporting By Michele Kambas)

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