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University and high school students organised on Tuesday marches throughout Cyprus’ government-controlled areas to condemn the anniversary of the unilateral declaration of the Turkish Cypriot puppet regime’s independence, calling once again for the reunification of the island.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

The leaders of the two communities, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015 with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof. Last week the two leaders met in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, and discussed the chapter of territory and other outstanding issues interdependently. Talks wrapped up on Friday and are set to continue next Sunday, for three more days.

On 15 November 1983, Turkey instigated and endorsed a “unilateral declaration of independence” in the occupied area by the Turkish Cypriot leadership.

Protests by students took place on Tuesday under the umbrella of the Pancyprian Coordinating Students Committee (PSEM) and the Pancyprian Federation of Student Unions (POFEN).

Students shouted slogans such as “Cyprus` borders are in Kyrenia” and “Cyprus belongs to is people; Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots”, sending the message that they will not settle with the Turkish occupation and the illegal entity in the occupied areas.

In Nicosia, a delegation of students handed over a resolution to members of the UN peace keeping force on the island (UNFICYP) which calls for a long lasting solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation and political equality as described by UN resolutions, with a single citizenship, a single indivisible sovereignty and a single international personality.

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