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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 17:38 GMT
Turkey urges fresh Cyprus talks
Map of Cyprus
Turkey has proposed reviving UN talks on the reunification of Cyprus, and has offered to lift trade restrictions.

Turkey said it would open its ports and airports to Cypriot traffic if restrictions on Turkish Cypriots were lifted by the Greek Cypriot side.

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul also called for a resumption of high-level talks between both sides by the middle of this year.

Greek Cypriots rejected a UN plan for reunification in a May 2004 referendum.

Turkey's refusal to recognise EU member Cyprus has complicated preparations for opening talks on Ankara's bid to join the European Union.

Cyprus has been split into the Greek Cypriot-controlled south and the Turkish-occupied north since Turkey invaded in 1974, in the wake of an abortive coup by supporters of union with Greece.

Greece said it would study the Turkish proposals, although the Greek Cypriots rejected them in advance as nothing new.

Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iacovou dismissed the Turkish offer as "reheated food".

Restrictions are still in place on the Turkish Cypriots, despite their backing for the UN plan.

The breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is recognised only by Ankara.

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