UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon took stock of the state of play as regards the six chapters of the Cyprus talks and other relevant issues that need to be tackled, including the economic aspect of a settlement, during the opening of the UN-led negotiations in Mont Pelerin between Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, on the territory and all other outstanding issues interdependently.

CNA has learned that during a half an hour speech he made before the two leaders, Ban elaborated on the state of play as regards the six chapters, focusing on the property and the territory issues, in which there are more substantive disagreements. He also referred to the implementation and the first day of the settlement as well as to the economic aspect of the solution, as issues that need to be addressed. As regards the issue of security he referred to the disagreement between the two sides on this chapter, but noted their agreement that the 1960 system cannot constitute the base to address this issue and that one`s side`s security must not be to the detriment of the other side. The Secretary General did not however make any recommendations for any chapter or issue that needs to be addressed.

Meanwhile, substantive negotiations between the two sides were scheduled to begin  at 1730 local time with the participation of three-member delegations of the UN, the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side, under the UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, President Anastasiades and Akinci, respectively. Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis and Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides are the other two member of the Greek Cypriot delegation.

The negotiations will begin on pending issues of the four chapters that have already been discussed (governance, property, economy and the EU) which are related to the territory issue, however the final agenda and the chapters with which they will start the negotiations have not been determined yet. Discussion on criteria as regards the territory issue is expected to begin on Tuesday evening or on Wednesday.

Ban first took the floor during a meeting with the leaders after his press statement, noting that this is the third time he personally attends such a meeting on the Cyprus problem. The two previous were in Geneva and Green Tree.

Anastasiades and Akinci also took the floor for approximately ten minutes each, making political statements, without however referring to the substance of the issues as th Secretary General did. Anastasiades focused mainly on the territory issue and the importance to have a positive outcome as regards the determination of the criteria and the maps. Akinci referred to all six chapters of the talks, without however entering into details.

Following that a more substantive discussion took place during which Ban took stock of the state of play as regards the six chapters and other relevant issues, as the economic aspect, the implementation and the first day of the solution.

Ban who also attended a lunch with the leaders has already left Switzerland. One of the members of the UN delegation who attended today`s opening of the negotiations is the Director-General of the international organization`s Office in Geneva, Michael Moller, who served as the UNSG`s Special Representative in Cyprus from 2006 to 2008.

The two leaders are expected to meet twice a day from 1000 to 1300 and from 1800 until 2030, while in the meantime their working groups and negotiators will hold meetings. However the programme of the meetings can change when needed.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May last year with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

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