Nicosia sees improved references in the UNSG’s report compared to the one released in October

Nicosia appears to be, in general, satisfied with the UN Secretary General’s report on his good offices mission in Cyprus – an unofficial copy of which was handed over on Tuesday evening to the UN Security Council members – assessing that references on several issues are better in this report compared to the one released in October, and underlining that what is important is that the UNSG’s special envoy Jane Holl Lute is continuing her effort.

Lute is currently engaged in an effort with a view to formulate the terms of reference in order for the negotiations aiming to solve the Cyprus problem to resume.

A diplomatic source told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that we note as particularly important the fact that, despite the difficulties written down, the report highlights the clear intention of the UN Secretary General to continue the effort with a view to achieve progress in the process.

Moreover, the source said that there are improved references on several issues in the report compared to the UNSGs report released in October, for example as regards the issue of hydrocarbons, adding that this is also positive.

The UNSG said, among others, in his report that was handed over yesterday, that while some progress was registered on confidence-building measures in Cyprus, “there are low expectations for real progress or agreement on the terms of reference.

Guterres also noted that he will request Lute to continue discussions on his behalf, adding that the way ahead must be well prepared, with a sense of urgency and focus. Furthermore, he expressed 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. In that respect, I call on the two leaders, their communities, the guarantor powers, and other interested parties to engage in these efforts constructively, creatively and with the necessary sense of urgency,” he stressed.

Referring to the hydrocarbons issue, he said that regarding the enduring tensions surrounding hydrocarbons exploration, I reiterate that the natural resources found in and around Cyprus should benefit both communities and can constitute a strong incentive to find a durable solution to the Cyprus problem.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana, ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency