Following five days of the United Nations-brokered reunification talks that generated “significant progress,” the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities have decided to take a recess and reconvene on 20 November.
“During these past five days, the chapter on territory and all other issues were discussed interdependently. Significant progress has been achieved,” the UN spokesperson for Cyprus said in a statement released to the press on November 11.
The Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akıncı, and the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, have been engaged in sustained negotiations in Mont Pèlerin, Switzerland, since 7 November under the auspices of the UN.
Upon request of Mr. Anastasiades, it has been decided by the two leaders to take a recess and reconvene in Geneva on Sunday, 20 November, to continue their deliberations, the spokesperson said.
“The two leaders, once again, wish to express their gratitude to the Government of Switzerland for its generosity and hospitality in hosting this event and for the invaluable support provided to them and their teams throughout the week,” the spokesperson added.
According to the UN Department of Political Affairs, while efforts to reunify Cyprus continue, the UN exerts a stabilizing presence by deploying a peacekeeping mission on the island since 1964. The UN also works through the good offices of the Secretary-General to assist the two sides in the search for a comprehensive and mutually acceptable settlement to the Cyprus problem.
In addition to other methods, the UN chief uses his ‘good offices’ – diplomatic steps taken publicly and in private, drawing upon his independence, impartiality and integrity – to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading.