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The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Cyprus’ estranged Greek and Turkish sides to compromise, in a final push for peace.

Earlier, Ban walked through no mans land in the split capital Nicosia as part of a mission to breathe fresh life into stumbling talks.

Despite negotiations over the past 16 months and some movement on power-sharing, progress between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot governments has proved painfully slow.

As reunification talks got underway, the UN chief urged the leaders of both sides to strike a lasting agreement.

‘‘No one is under illusion that any of this is easy. Peace negotiations never are. But the time is right to push ahead. I’m convinced that these two leaders can achieve a mutual beneficial solution. For decades the world has heard about the Cyprus problem, now is the time for the Cyprus solution,’‘ the UN Secretary-General said.

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