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Nationalists sweep to victory in northern Cyprus poll

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Nationalists sweep to victory in northern Cyprus poll
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Efforts to reunify the divided island of Cyprus could be complicated by an election result in the breakaway north.

Turkish Cypriot nationalists have been celebrating a decisive victory in the parliamentary poll. Their National Unity Party, led by Dervis Eroglu, has pledged to pursue talks aimed at finding a settlement. But it has advocated an outright two-state solution to the Cyprus question. And that is at odds with the federal model being discussed in peace talks that Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat launched with Greek Cypriots last year. He retains his position despite the outcome of Sunday’s vote. But his room for manoeuvre in trying to reunite the island could be limited, with his political rivals now dominant in the territory’s parliament. The internationally-recognized Greek Cypriot government in the south represents Cyprus in the European Union. Only Turkey recognises the Turkish Cypriot territory. And, as long as the island remains divided, Greek Cypriots say they will block Turkey’s admission to the EU.
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