Un Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will open the intensive week of negotiations of the UN-led Cyprus peace talks in Switzerland on Monday 7th November, his Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide announced on Friday.
In a written statement Eide recalls that the two leaders, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, decided earlier this week to continue their intensive negotiations in Mont Pèlerin from 7th to 11th November. The meeting will be held under the auspices of the United Nations and with the generous support of the Government of Switzerland, Eide adds.
According to his statement, the meeting will concentrate on the chapter of territory, as well as all other outstanding issues interdependently and the two leaders have jointly expressed their 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 in order to reach a settlement within 2016”.
Eide also points out that this is the first time that the two leaders are negotiating the issue of territory directly, “marking a critical juncture in the current process”.
“It is important to recognize the particular sensitivity of this chapter for both sides, which is a key reason why the leaders have agreed to hold the talks outside of Cyprus, and why they want to conduct them interdependently with other relevant chapters”, the statement reads.
In his statement Eide also underlines that 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”.
Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island. UN-backed talks are underway with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.