Cyprus talks face "moment of truth"

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Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide (centre) with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades (left) and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. Photo: UNFICYP (file photo)

High-level discussions to decide the future of Cyprus recommenced in Geneva on Monday, with UN facilitators describing it as a "moment of truth".

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades joined his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, Mustafa Akinci, at the UN to attempt to find agreement on issues which have divided the two sides for more than 40 years.

Facilitating the discussions is UN Special Adviser Espen Barthe Eide.

He told journalists that a deal would be "historic" but "complicated" to achieve.

Daniel Johnson has more.

The prospect of Cyprus's divisions being healed after more than four decades of division could be played out this week.

The Mediterranean island's leaders – Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci – swept into the UN in Geneva early on Monday to discuss the handful of issues that they have yet to agree on.

These issues are known as chapters, and they include matters of security and compensation for those who lost land when they fled their homes in 1974.

UN Special Adviser Espen Barthe Eide is helping to bring the sides together.

"We are now in a broad sense in a moment of truth and my very strong sense is the following: this is going to be difficult and it's possible. It's going to be difficult because obviously, even if the majority of issues have been solved in all chapters, it's not the easiest questions that we have left 'til the end."

At the end of three days of discussions, both Cypriot delegations are due to be joined in Geneva by the so-called guarantor powers to any future deal: Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

UN Special Adviser Espen Barthe Eide said that European Union representatives would also be present, since a united Cyprus would become a full EU member.

United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1'11"

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