UN chief says Cyprus deal is within lead­ers’ reach

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

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.

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