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UN chief to hold crucial talks with Cypriot leaders

Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar begins a series of separate meetings today with the President of Cyprus and the leader of its ethnic Turkish community that could offer the last hope of averting a permanent division of the island.

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The UN chief will first confer with President Spyros Kyprianou, whose Greek-Cypriot administration is internationally recognised as the legitimate government of Cyprus. Later in the day, he will receive the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, Rauf Denktash, whose community's declaration of independent statehood last November under his presidency, was recognized only by Turkey and denounced by the UN Security Council.

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