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Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks to reporters during a press conference after talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, in the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north of ethnically split Cyprus on May 17. / Petros Karadjias

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) - Turkey's foreign minister says U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to ethnically split Cyprus next week sends an important message of American support for renewed talks aimed at unifying the island.

Ahmet Davutoglu says Biden's three-day trip - the first by a U.S. vice president in 52 years - "isn't an ordinary visit."

Davutoglu was speaking at a press conference Saturday after talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes the Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence and maintains 35,000 troops in the breakaway north.

Negotiations resumed in February after the two sides agreed on a joint statement outlining key principles of an envisioned federation.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: Turkey: U.S. vice president's Cyprus visit key

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