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Geneva 5+1 talks on Cyprus fall through

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Three days of informal talks in Geneva with rival Cypriot leaders failed to find a breakthrough that could pave the way towards resolving the decades-old dispute, the UN chief concluded Thursday.

The United Nations is trying to mediate a deal for the divided island, nearly six decades since it first deployed peacekeepers.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres travelled from New York to Geneva to oversee the three days of talks in various formats but said they had not managed to overcome the differences between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot positions.

“The truth is that in the end of our efforts, we have not yet found enough common ground to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations in relation to the settlement of the Cyprus problem,” Guterres told a press conference.

“But I do not give up,” he said.

“My agenda is strictly to fight for the security and well-being of the Cypriots — of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots — that deserve to live in peace and prosperity together.”

The talks were attended by the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, and the foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey, and Britain — the three guarantors of the island’s 1960 independence — plus the UN.

Guterres said the two sides, the three guarantors, and the UN would meet again within two to three months.

source AF