Leaders in push for peace deal in Geneva
Cyprus leaders are holding key peace talks in Geneva, with the UN and senior diplomats voicing optimism that a reunification deal is within reach. The foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey and the UK are involved - the countries that act as Cyprus security guarantors. Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is not going to the talks, despite an earlier report that he would attend. The Greek- and TurkishCypriot communities have been split since 1974. A UN buffer zone divides them. In 1974 Turkish troops invaded, following a coup by Greek Cypriots backed by the generals ruling Greece at the time. For a deal to take effect it would have to win the support of both Cypriot communities in separate referendums. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the talks “offer both sides a unique opportunity to find a solution”.Nicosia buffer zone The UN, overseeing the negotiations, says it is the best chance to reunify the island after four decades of division. The goal is for the two sides to share power in a two-state federation. The Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot leaders - Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci - on Wednesday exchanged maps proposing territorial boundaries. It was the first time they had done so, according to the UN, and was hailed as an important advance towards a deal. New UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is attending the talks in Geneva, his first foreign trip in the role.