Reuters International

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades attends a news conference after the meeting with Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou


ATHENS (Reuters) - The leaders of Cyprus's estranged Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities will meet over dinner next Sunday in a first encounter of the two since peace talks were abruptly interrupted in February, the United Nations said on Monday.

Reunification talks hit the latest in a long line of snags last month over a decision by Greek Cypriot lawmakers to commemorate the 1950 referendum which had then sought to unite the island with Greece -- infuriating Turkish Cypriots.

Espen Barth Eide, the special adviser to of the United Nations secretary-general, will host a dinner for Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on April 2, his office said in a statement.

The dinner will take place in the United Nations-controlled buffer zone dividing Cyprus's capital, Nicosia.

Cyprus was split when Turkey invaded in 1974 in a move triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. The seeds of division were sowed much earlier when a power-sharing government crumbled amid fighting in 1963, just three years after the island gained independence from Britain.

(Reporting By Michele Kambas)


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