UN chief Guterres in Switzerland to push Cyprus peace talks

UN chief Guterres in Switzerland to push Cyprus peace talks

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres arrived in Switzerland on Friday in a bid to boost crucial negotiations aimed at reuniting Cyprus after more than 40 years of division.

Guterres was to join the talks in the Swiss Alpine resort of Crans-Montana as Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci are under growing international pressure to reach a deal. Speaking from Estonia on Friday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stressed that it was the "last chance" for a deal. 

A key point of dispute is the issue of security and guarantees on the island and the presence of thousands of Turkish troops who have been there since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.

On Thursday Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu denied reports of a possible withdrawal of troops.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, who is at the talks, said on Thursday that officials had so far not broken any ground with regard to the pivotal and thorny issue of security.

“The Turks are repeating positions they’ve held for the last decade and they think that they’re new,” Kotzias said.

Meanwhile, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades submitted a 16-page paper outlining Nicosia’s positions on security in response to three questions tabled by UN Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman – how the two sides see the day after a solution, how the concerns of both communities with regard to security will be addressed, and how its implementation would be monitored.

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