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UNSG Ban to open Swiss talks

File photo Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will open the intensive week of negotiations between the leaders of Cyprus’ divided communities in Switzerland on November 7, it was announced on Friday.

In a written statement, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said: “The Secretary-General has been closely following the Cyprus negotiations throughout his tenure, and looks forward to lending his personal support to the work of the two leaders as they are entering this crucial phase of their negotiations.”

The talks, at Mont Pelerin between November 7 and 11, will focus on territory, a thorny issue on the road to reunification.

President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci chose to hold the talks abroad because of the particular sensitivity of the chapter for both sides.

“The meeting will concentrate on the chapter of territory, as well as all other outstanding issues interdependently,” Eide said. “It is the first time that the two leaders are negotiating the issue of territory directly, marking a critical juncture in the current process.”

Anastasiades and Akinci have expressed hope that the meeting in Switzerland will pave the way for the last phase of the talks, in line with their shared commitment to do their utmost to reach a settlement this year.

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