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New Round Of Cyprus Talks To Begin On June 28

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Reunification talks will take place in Switzerland's Crans-Montana, UN special envoy announces

A new round of talks over the reunification of Cyprus will start in Switzerland's Crans-Montana on June 28, according to the special UN envoy on Friday.

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, made the announcement after meeting Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades in Lefkosa.

Eide said Crans-Montana -- twin resort towns in southern Switzerland -- will host a "historic opportunity".

"We all know that it’s going to be difficult when we are there in Crans-Montana; it’s also going to be a lot of work that has to be done before we go there," he said.

"We don’t want to come there empty handed," he added.

On June 9, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced a new Cyprus conference, following a meeting with Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders in New York.

Turkey, Greece and the U.K. will also participate as guarantor powers, and the EU in an observer capacity, Guterres had said.

The Eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when a Greek coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

Akinci and Anastasiades have been involved in reunification talks to create a federal state since May 2015.

The pair met several times in Geneva last year, but their last meeting in February was fraught with controversy over a Greek Cypriot decision to introduce a commemoration of the 1950 Enosis referendum on unification with Greece.

Both sides had agreed on most of the issues in the reunification deal but the sticking points, including a security and guarantees system, remain unresolved.

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