7 November 2016
Mont Pèlerin, 7 November 2016
Good morning. I am pleased to be in Mont Pèlerin. I thank the Government of Switzerland for their generosity in hosting us.
I am here to open this week of intensive negotiations between the Greek Cypriot leader, His Excellency Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, His Excellency Mr. Mustafa Akıncı.
The talks will be conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Special Adviser, Mr. Espen Barth Eide, and will concentrate on the chapter of territory as well as all other outstanding issues interdependently.
The two leaders have expressed their hope that this meeting will pave the way for the last phase of the talks in line with their shared commitment to do their utmost in order to reach a settlement within 2016.
I highly commend their Excellencies Mr. Akıncı and Mr. Anastasiades for their efforts. Significant progress has been made in this leader-led process over the past eighteen months.
At the same time, a number of sensitive and difficult issues still remain. I know the two leaders are here with a strong commitment and determination to work towards solving all these issues.
The two leaders have reached a critical juncture in their talks. I encourage them to make the most of the moment and the momentum. It will be crucial as they tackle the outstanding issues across chapters, during this week in Switzerland and beyond.
I commend the leaders for their vision, courage and leadership for advancing their talks further than ever before. The prospect of a solution in Cyprus is within their reach. Expectations in both communities are high.
Cyprus offers tremendous hope to people around the world that long-standing conflicts can be resolved peacefully through negotiations.
I am here to assure the two leaders of my full support and the commitment of the United Nations to assist them in whatever way to reach their shared goal, while respecting that the future of Cyprus will be determined by Cypriots, for all Cypriots.
I call on all interested parties -- especially the guarantor powers Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom -- as well as the wider international community, to support the leaders in their efforts to finally overcome the division of their island.