United Nations chief keen to bring peace in Cyprus

Cyprus reunification within reach

Thursday's multi-party talks follows three days of negotiation between rival Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders aimed at forging a united, two-zone federation.

Thursday's conference marks Guterres's first foreign trip since taking over the UN's top job on January 1. Guterres stressed no one was looking for "miracles or a quick fix, but a solid and sustainable solution".

Flanked by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, Secretary-General António Guterres said a breakthrough is what the world needs now. Property rights are also an emotive issue for thousands of people uprooted in conflict, though opinion polls have consistently pointed to security being an over-arching concern for all on the Mediterranean island. But today the new United Nations chief has brought together foreign ministers from Greece, Turkey and the UK at talks aimed at bringing peace to Cyprus and reuniting the island at last.

Turkey stationed about 35,000 troops in the north in 1974 when it invaded following a coup by Greek Cypriots hoping to unify Cyprus with Greece.

But speaking on the fourth day of reunification talks in Geneva, he said instruments were still needed to implement new security guarantees satisfactory to both the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.

"We are at a starting point" on the question of security, he said.

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The presence of around 30,000 Turkish troops in northern Cyprus is strongly contested by Greek Cyprians, which hinders the closing of a deal without their potential withdrawal.

Britain, Turkey and Greece are guarantor powers of the independence of Cyprus, allowed to intervene to restore constitutional order under a 1960 treaty.

"Continuing the security and guarantor arrangements, which have been the basis of security and stability on the island for the last 43 years, is a necessity given the situation in the region", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday. Both side have created maps with proposals for new boundaries. The proposals ranged between 28.2 and 29.2 percent of Cypriot territory remaining under Turkish Cypriot control, down from about 36 percent now.

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders on Wednesday exchanged maps proposing territorial boundaries.

The goal of the United Nations peace deal is to reunify Cyprus, this island is divided by the United Nations buffer zone since 1974.

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