7 November 2016

UN chief urges Cyprus leaders to seize peace deal chance

A Turkish, left, and Turkish Cypriot breakaway flag fly at a Turkish military guard post in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.
The United Nations chief on Monday urged the rival leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus to seize the opportunity for a reunification deal that he said is within their grasp.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the two leaders are at a "critical juncture" in talks now taking place in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, and encouraged them to make the most of the moment.
Ban on Monday offered his full support to Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and called on Greece, Britain and Turkey which the Cypriot constitution designates as the island's guarantors to give their backing.
"Cyprus offers tremendous hope to people around the world that long-standing conflicts can be resolved peacefully through negotiations," Ban said at the start of the five-day, U.N. backed talks at the Swiss resort.
"The prospect of a solution in Cyprus is within reach," added Ban. "Expectations in both communities are high."
The reasoning behind moving negotiations abroad is to allow the leaders to focus on the issues without outside distractions.
A Turkish invasion in 1974 in the wake of a coup aiming at union with Greece split the tiny, east Mediterranean island of roughly a million people into a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north and an internationally recognized south.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, right, speaks next to UN Special Adviser for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, left, before a meeting related to reunification talks on Cyprus in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Ban is urging the rival leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus to seize the opportunity for a reunification deal that he says is within their reach.
Turkey keeps more than 35,000 troops in the north and is the only country to recognize a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence.
Anastasiades and Akinci will concentrate this week on how much territory each side will administer under an envisioned federation. That's a key element of any deal that will determine how many Greek Cypriots can reclaim property lost during the war as well as an accord's financial cost.
Both men have said success at Mont Pelerin could pave the way for a final summit tackling the pivotal issue of post-settlement security arrangements. 
(AP)
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon waves as he arrives for a meeting related to reunification talks on Cyprus in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Ban is urging the rival leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus to seize the opportunity for a reunification deal that he says is within their reach.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon waves as he arrives for a meeting related to reunification talks on Cyprus in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Ban is urging the rival leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus to seize the opportunity for a reunification deal that he says is within their reach.                        
A woman with a boy walk by the barrels and sand bags that blocked a street that divided the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot controlled areas, north and south in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.
A woman with a boy walk by the barrels and sand bags that blocked a street that divided the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot controlled areas, north and south in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.          
People walk at the Ledras main shopping pedestrian street in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.
People walk at the Ledras main shopping pedestrian street in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.                    
A Turkish military guard post is seen through a battle position blocking a road that divided the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot controlled areas, North and South in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.
A Turkish military guard post is seen through a battle position blocking a road that divided the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot controlled areas, North and South in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.                              
People walk at the Ledras or Lokmaci in Turkish, main shopping pedestrian street in the Turkish breakaway northern part of the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.
People walk at the Ledras or Lokmaci in Turkish, main shopping pedestrian street in the Turkish breakaway northern part of the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.                   
An abandoned Cypriot guard post which was being used by the military, stands on the outskirts of the Turkish Cypriot breakaway north part of the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.
An abandoned Cypriot guard post which was being used by the military, stands on the outskirts of the Turkish Cypriot breakaway north part of the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.           
Women sit on a bench under a sign reading "Peace" next to the Ledra checkpoint in a pedestrian shopping street in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.
Women sit on a bench under a sign reading "Peace" next to the Ledra checkpoint in a pedestrian shopping street in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.                                   
A man stands on the Venetian wall behind a fence at the Turkish Cypriot controlled area and looks to the Greek Cypriot part in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.
A man stands on the Venetian wall behind a fence at the Turkish Cypriot controlled area and looks to the Greek Cypriot part in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.               
A cat sits in a battle position that divided the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot controlled areas, North and South in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal.
A cat sits in a battle position that divided the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot controlled areas, North and South in the divided capital Nicosia in the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Past efforts to solve the ethnical division of Cyprus have failed, but the leaders are heading to the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin for meetings next week that could be the precursor to one last summit to sort out the final details of a deal. 

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