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Europe

Cyprus Votes Rescheduled for April 20

The United Nations has rescheduled Cypriot referendums on reunification so they won't coincide with the anniversary of the Greek military coup in 1967.

The United Nations has announced that a vote aimed at approving any reunification agreement in Cyprus has been rescheduled for April 20, one day earlier than planned. The original date for the referendums, April 21, would mark the 37th anniversary of the overthrow of democracy in Greece by a military junta, an event that could be considered to have set off the Cyprus conflict. The military coup in Athens prompted Turkey to invade the north of Cyprus in 1974. The UN hopes the referendum date will act as a deadline, pressing the two sides to reach agreement before Cyprus is due to enter the EU on May 1. Cypriots from the Turkish and Greek communities are locked in negotiations to reunify the island. So far progress has been slow and popular support for any deal is not assured. The talks are set to continue until a March 22, when the Turkish and Greek government expected to join the discussions. A week later UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is scheduled to start "filling in the blanks" of the agreement. (EUObserver.com)

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