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EU's Mogherini says shares belief with Turkey on solving Cyprus dispute

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini talks to the media as she arrives at the EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

ANKARA (Reuters) - The European Union and Turkey share a “common interest” in resolving the dispute over the divided island of Cyprus in the coming months, Federica Mogherini, who oversees foreign affairs for the European Commission, said on Friday.

Turkish and Greek Cypriots are negotiating now to reunify the island, split along ethnic lines since a 1974 invasion by Turkey in response to a short-lived Greek Cypriot coup.

The division has been a major hurdle in advancing Turkey’s bid to join the EU. Mogherini spoke at a news conference after talks with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and European Affairs Minister Omer Celik.

Turkey officially recognises the independence of Turkish Cypriots, who run their own affairs in the Mediterranean island’s northern third, but Greek Cypriots are considered by the international community the sole legitimate authority. Despite the division, Cyprus joined the EU in 2004.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Ayla Jean Yackley; Editing by David Dolan