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Cyprus Peace Talks Break Off, to Reconvene Later in November

FILE - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, center, poses for photographers with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, left, and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades during the Cyprus reunification talks in the Swiss mountain resort of Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, Nov. 7, 2016.

Intensive talks at a Swiss resort aimed at reaching a deal to reunify the ethnically divided island have broken off and will reconvene in Geneva on November 20, officials said Friday.

Cypriot government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides told The Associated Press that talks in Geneva will again concentrate on how much territory Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will administer under an envisioned federation.

Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci, the leader of the breakaway Turkish Cypriots, have spent the last five days at the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin trying to trash out an agreement on territory that would pave the way for a final summit to discuss the pivotal issue of security.

A Turkish invasion in 1974 following a coup aimed at uniting Cyprus with Greece split the island into a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north and an internationally recognized Greek Cypriot south. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence and maintains more than 35,000 troops in the north.

Progress has been made

A United Nations statement said significant progress has been made on territory, as well as other interconnected issues like how many people will reclaim homes and property lost during the war.

The statement said both leaders agreed on the nine-day pause after Anastasiades requested it.

Territory is crucial to any Cyprus accord for both sides. Greek Cypriots have said territorial adjustments must provide for at least 100,000 people to reclaim lost homes an property.

Turkish Cypriots want the least amount of people being displaced from homes they now live in under any arrangement.

Greek Cypriot negotiators in Mont Pelerin sought to outline on maps how much territory either side would administer before agreeing to a final summit on security. Turkish Cypriots wanted a security summit date before agreeing on maps.

A final summit would focus on who and how security would be provided for a federal Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots insist on Turkey being able to militarily intervene on their behalf -- something Greek Cypriots reject.