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Showdown at Geneva summit

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The UN-led Geneva summit comes to the crunch on Thursday, with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres convening a plenary session for the parties to present their positions on the way forward.

According to sources, Guterres has asked the parties to reflect and meet during a new plenary session to listen to their final positions to decide if there is common ground on what happens next.

Official sources also said that Guterres had cancelled bilateral talks scheduled for Thursday, the last day of the informal 5+1 meeting.

He has encouraged the parties to be creative in their approaches to renewing Cyprus negotiations, but it seems there is little hope of a breakthrough.

Guterres said he would move forward based on the outcomes of the informal talks in Geneva.

The major issue is a shift in the positions of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership from reunifying the country as a federation to a two-state deal.

Discussions in the Swiss city also feature delegations from Greece, Turkey, and the UK – all guarantor powers of Cyprus that agreed to the island’s independence in 1960 and have historically featured in discussions over the next steps.

There have been no UN-sponsored Cyprus talks since the last effort collapsed in Switzerland in July 2017.