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Apr 17 2019

UN chief pushes for reinvigorating Cyprus peace talks

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that he was pressing for a bid to restart negotiations on reuniting Cyprus, nearly two years after talks collapsed, the Greek Reporter said.

Guterres submitted a progress report to the security council on the UN mission to mediate between the two sides, the newspaper reported.

“It is my hope that the ongoing consultations will lead to a return to negotiations, to which I could devote the full weight of my good offices, with the aim of reaching a lasting resolution of the Cyprus issue,” Guterres said in his report.

Cyprus has been split between a Greek Cypriot administration in the south, recognised internationally as the government of the whole island, and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot government in the north recognised by Turkey, following a Turkish invasion of the northern third of Cyprus in 1974.

Guterres called on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot administration, the guarantor powers, and other interested parties to engage in the peace efforts “constructively, creatively and with the necessary sense of urgency.”

The UN chief described the two meetings this year between Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders as a rare opportunity, while he said there was skepticism on both sides regarding the prospects for peace talks.

“While some progress was registered on confidence-building measures, there are low expectations for real progress or agreement on the terms of reference,” the Greek Reporter quoted Guterres as saying.