CYPRUS reunification talks broke down yesterday when the Turkish Cypriot delegation walked out over a new law passed by the internationally recognised government.
Tensions had been running high this week following strong Turkish Cypriot protests against the new legislation, which makes the annual commemoration of a 1950 vote for union with Greece compulsory in schools.
Both Mustafa Akinci, leader of the breakaway Turkish Cypriots, and President Nicos Anastasiades insisted that the talks should continue.
Mr Anastasiades said that Mr Akinci and his retinue had left the UN compound at the defunct Nicosia airport where talks are being held after he told the Turkish Cypriot leader that his fears over the legislation were not justified.
Cyprus gained independence from British colonial rule in 1960, but was split 14 years later after Turkey invaded it in the wake of a coup by supporters of union with Greece.