'Significant progress' made in Cyprus talks, negotiations to resume on Nov 20: UN

'Significant progress' made in Cyprus talks, negotiations to resume on Nov 20: UN

MONT-PELERIN, Switzerland
Significant progress made in Cyprus talks, negotiations to resume on Nov 20: UN Cyprus peace talks ended late on Nov. 11 in Switzerland without a final deal despite UN claims of "significant progress."

The high-level negotiations will resume in Geneva on Nov. 20.

Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades were engaged in sustained negotiations in Mont Pelerin since Nov. 7 under the auspices of the UN.

"During these past five days, the chapter on territory and all other issues were discussed interdependently. Significant progress has been achieved," UN said in a statement.

"Upon request of the Greek Cypriot leader, Anastasiades, it has been decided by the two leaders to take a recess and reconvene in Geneva on Sunday, 20 November 2016, to continue their deliberations from Mont Pelerin," the UN said.

On Nov. 9, Cyprus peace talks entered a critical stage, with a special focus on territorial adjustments -- a key issue hampering reunification.

If Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides had reached an agreement on territorial changes, negotiators were expected to announce a date for one last international summit to discuss final details of a peace deal.

That summit -- which would also be attended by Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom -- would focus on the security and guarantees chapter, the last of the sticking points between the parties.

The talks in Mont Pelerin began on Nov. 7 with meetings between Akıncı, Anastasiades and Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide.

The first two days of negotiations concentrated on governance, property, economy and the EU, according to a diplomatic source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Swiss talks had been described as the last bumpy road before a final agenda is agreed.

In a news conference at the beginning of the talks, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the fact a solution was within reach.

The U.N. has launched several failed peace drives over the last four decades, but the latest bid between Anastasiades and Akıncı has been billed as the last best hope for an enduring truce.