UN chief presses on with bid to re-start Cyprus talks
UNITED NATIONS – Agence France-Presse
In a report sent to the council, Guterres said he had asked his envoy, American diplomat Jane Holl Lute, to continue holding talks with Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders on the basis for re-starting negotiations.
"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 the report obtained by AFP.
"The way ahead must be well prepared, with a sense of urgency and focus," he added.
Talks on reunifying Cyprus broke down in July 2017 when Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders failed to agree on compromises concerning power-sharing and security arrangements for the island.
Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akıncı have met in October and in February for face-to-face exchanges.
A number of confidence-building measures have been agreed on mine clearance, on exchanging works of art between the two sides, on electricity transfers and on allowing mobile phone providers to operate on both sides.
Still, "the skepticism on both sides regarding the prospects for a resumption of talks continued to prevail" following the leaders' private meetings, Guterres said.
Lute has traveled to Cyprus four times since October for talks on re-starting negotiations and has met with representatives from Greece, Turkey, Britain and with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
The United States has warned that without progress towards a political solution, UN peacekeepers will not remain indefinitely on the divided island.