UN chief says Cyprus deal is within leaders’ reach
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters yesterday, as peace negotiations got under way in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, that the prospect of a solution to the decades-long dispute “is within their reach.” The UN-backed talks will last for five days at a luxury resort near Lausanne and will focus on the tough issues of security and territory, a subject that had hitherto not been substantially tackled.
A previous UN peace plan in 2004 for the island’s reunification was rejected in a referendum by Greek Cypriots.
Cyprus was split along ethnic Greek and Turkish lines in 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern part. According to reports, if progress is made this time after 42 years of failed bids, the Switzerland talks could be the precursor to a summit that will deal with details of a final agreement.