21 January 2016 In his first joint meeting with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders today, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged them to “capitalize on the current positive momentum” to reunite the island under a federal government.
“Significant progress has been made in this leader-led process over the past eight months, demonstrating that with political will, it is possible to reach an understanding on all issues,” he told journalists after meeting Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci in Davos, Switzerland, on the margins of the World Economic Forum.
“At the same time, it is also clear that a number of sensitive and difficult issues still remain. I encouraged the leaders to capitalize on the current positive momentum. It will be crucial as they move forward to tackle outstanding issues across the different chapters.”
The UN has been mediating talks between the two communities for eight years in an effort to reunite the Mediterranean island by establishing a federal government. The Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, Espen Barth Eide, is facilitating intensive negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders.
The talks recently have focussed on such issues as property rights, compensation and crossing points among others.
The UN has deployed a peacekeeping force in Cyprus, known as UNFICYP, since 1964, when inter-communal fighting erupted.
“I encouraged Mr. Akinci and Mr. Anastasiades to continue working tirelessly towards finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issue as soon as possible, for the benefit of all Cypriots.” Mr. Ban said today.
“I also call on all interested parties to do their utmost to facilitate and support the leaders in their quest for overcoming the division of Cyprus.”
Special Adviser Eide, who attended today’s talks, said last year that both leaders have continued to make progress towards “their shared vision of a united, federal Cyprus.”
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