People sit on a bench next to a barricade outside the U.N. buffer zone in Nicosia, Cyprus May 21, 2017. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou
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As a new showdown looms over troubled Cyprus reunification talks, peace activists are clinging to the last vestiges of hope that a deal can be done ending decades of division on the ethnically split island. Every Saturday for more than a decade, people from rival sides have met over coffee at a medieval inn on the Turkish Cypriot side of Nicosia to discuss their vision of a united country. But for the past two months, their chats have had to deal with a marked slowdown in momentum at formal talks on reunification between Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci, the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders.Last week a U.N. envoy launched shuttle diplomacy to avoid the prospect of collapse, and concerns are mounting that the process could be sidelined by Greek Cypriot elections next year.
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