Even if negotiators reach a breakthrough on ending the separation of Cyprus this week in Geneva, they will not be able to work out all the details needed for a comprehensive final agreement, UN mediator Espen Barth Eide said on Wednesday.
The delegations representing the Greek and Turkish parts of Cyprus will get to the most sensitive part of their talks later on Wednesday when they will exchange maps that show how each side wants to delineate the territory of a future federal Cyprus.
"It's an emotionally charged question," because the maps show which territories are to be returned from Turkish Cypriot to Greek Cypriot owners 40 years after the island became separated, Eide said at a press conference.
On Thursday, Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akinci will be joined by the foreign ministers from Turkey, Greece and Britain to discuss the external security arrangements of a future reunited Cyprus.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will be in Geneva to open the broader talks, which may carry on for several days.
Eide said he hoped that the two sides of Cyprus would be able to overcome all outstanding problems and to agree on a security framework with the guarantors, but that there would be no final treaty text.
"Don't expect that we will be flying back from Geneva with a comprehensive settlement in our hands," he said, adding that it would take time to work out all the details.
European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who was also set to travel to Geneva on Thursday to attend the talks as an observer, said he hoped that the negations to reunite Cyprus could be successfully concluded "in the next coming hours and days."
"Without overdramatizing what is happening in Geneva - that this is the very last chance to see the island being recomposed in a normal way," Juncker told a press conference during a visit to Malta. "Time has come to reunite the island."