NICOSIA, Cyprus – A spokesman for the government of Cyprus says a scheduled meeting between the ethnically split island's rival leaders that aimed to nudge peace talks forward has been called off.
Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides expressed regret Wednesday that breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci told United Nations officials that he won't attend Thursday's meeting.
The latest setback further erodes confidence in the 22-month peace process to reunify Cyprus, split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.
Akinci pulled out amid Turkish Cypriot anger over recently approved legislation that made the commemoration of a 1950 vote for Cyprus' union with Greece mandatory in Greek Cypriot schools.
Akinci insists the island's Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades must rescind the legislation before talks can proceed.