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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon encourages the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, to do their utmost to overcome the hurdle of lack of agreement on the criteria for territorial adjustment in Mont Pèlerin, Switzerland.

 

He also reminds them that temporary set-backs are not uncommon in peace processes as talks approach a final stage.

 

In a statement attributable to his Spokesman “he calls on all interested parties, especially the guarantor powers Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom, to do their utmost to support the leaders during the coming days and weeks, which will be crucial for the negotiations and the future of Cyprus.”

 

It is pointed out that Ban Ki-moon will be in contact with both leaders soon to discuss the next steps.

 

According to the statement, Ban has been updated by his Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, about the outcome of the talks that took place in Mont Pèlerin, Switzerland, on 7-11 November and 20-21 November.

 

“Despite the best efforts of Mr. Anastasiades and Mr. Akıncı, the talks did not yield the desired results regarding agreement on the criteria for territorial adjustment and they decided they would return to Cyprus to reflect on the way forward,” the statement reads.

 

The Secretary-General, it adds, “shares the disappointment of the two leaders who had hoped that the meetings in Mont Pèlerin would pave the way for the final phase of the talks.”

 

It is further pointed out that “on the same night of 21 November, thousands of people from both communities gathered in the buffer zone in Nicosia in support of the leaders’ shared vision of a united homeland.”

 

The Secretary-General is “confident of the leaders’ continued desire to deliver on these expectations with a mutually beneficial solution. Cypriots deserve nothing less,” the statement says.

 

Ban “encourages Mr. Akıncı and Mr. Anastasiades to do their utmost to overcome also this particular hurdle and conclude the promising work that they had undertaken in Mont Pèlerin.”

 

They have made, it is added, “significant progress across chapters over the past eighteen months, advancing their talks further than ever before.”

 

According to the UN official “they should continue to build upon their substantial achievements.”

 

The Secretary-General urges “the leaders to continue their efforts in line with their shared commitment to do their utmost in order to reach a settlement in 2016.” Especially, the statement adds, “in a region and in a world marked by increasing tension, they must not let this historic opportunity slip.”

 

 

The Secretary-General reiterates “his full support and the commitment of the United Nations to assist the two leaders in reaching their shared goal, while respecting that the future of Cyprus will be determined by Cypriots, for all Cypriots.”

 

“He will be in contact with both leaders soon to discuss the next steps,” the statement says, adding that he is in close contact with his Special Adviser who is currently assessing the situation.

 

The Secretary-General “urges all interested parties to avoid any statements and actions that would make the resumption of talks more difficult.”

 

He reminds them that “temporary set-backs are not uncommon in peace processes as talks approach a final stage.”

 

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