UN: Cypriot leaders need to resume negotiations

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The best way forward to resolving disputes is by returning to the negotiation table for a Cyprus settlement, UN Secretary General spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said.

He said UN chief Antonio Guterres “remains committed to supporting both sides in revitalising the political process and to exploring the possibility of convening an informal five-plus-UN meeting with both leaders and the guarantor powers at the appropriate stage.”

“The Secretary-General underscores the importance of trust-building between the two communities and we encourage the continued development and implementation of confidence-building measures which would bring obviously the two communities closer together,” Dujarric said.

“He further calls on the two sides and all relevant parties to avoid any unilateral actions that could undermine the prospects for renewed negotiations,” he added.

A negative backdrop to a resumption of UN-sponsored Cyprus talks has been Turkey’s energy exploration within Cypriot waters and the recent opening of fenced-off Varosha.

“As the way forward, I think that the best way to resolve disputes is by returning to negotiations by fostering lasting settlement of long-standing Cyprus problem for the benefit of all Cypriots and create peace in the region,” said Dujarric

There is no UN time frame to bring the two parties together in a move to resume Cyprus talks in limbo since 2017.

Guterres said he will reengage on the Cyprus issue once the Turkish Cypriot elections are over.

Nationalist hardliner Ersin Tatar was voted in as Turkish Cypriot leader on Sunday, he is expected to meet President Nicos Anastasiades in the coming weeks.

“I don’t have a time frame for convening a meeting with the parties, the guarantor powers and the UN…obviously these developments are fairly new; the election took place over the weekend, the discussions will be ongoing,” said Dujarric.