Cyprus peace deal close, says UN chief after Geneva talks

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Media captionFor more than 40 years Cyprus has been a divided island.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says a deal on reunifying Cyprus is "very close", but cautioned against hopes of a "quick fix".
Speaking after the first round of peace talks in Geneva, he said a settlement was within reach if the "instruments" were there to implement it.
The Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities have been split since 1974 and are divided by a UN buffer zone.
Both sides have exchanged maps setting out proposals for new boundaries.
It was the first time they had done so, according to the UN, and was hailed as an important advance towards a deal.
"We are coming very close to what is the settlement," said Mr Guterres, flanked by the Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot leaders - Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci.
"You cannot expect miracles and immediate solutions. We are not looking for a quick fix."
Key stumbling blocks include the return of property to tens of thousands of Cypriots who fled their homes in 1974, and the question of whether any Turkish troops will remain in northern Cyprus after reunification.
Turkey still has 30,000 troops stationed in the island's north.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (C) with Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci (L) and Greek Cypriot President Nicos AnastasiadesImage copyrightAFP
Image captionMr Guterres was flanked by Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, left, and Greek-Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades
The foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey and the UK - which act as Cyprus's security guarantors - are involved in the negotiations, as are EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The talks are expected to last into the weekend.
Any deal would have to win the support of both Cypriot communities in separate referendums.
Map of Cyprus showing the Turkish and Cypriot sides
Cyprus peace rally in Nicosia buffer zone, 10 Jan 17Image copyrightAFP
Image captionDuring the talks Greek- and Turkish-Cypriots rallied for peace in the Nicosia buffer zone
The goal is for the two sides to share power in a two-state federation and the UN says it is the best chance to reunify the island.
The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says the violent partition of Cyprus in 1974 has left deep scars and even deeper suspicions.