UN Chief Presses On With Bid To Re-start Cyprus Talks
United Nations, United States, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Apr, 2019 ) :UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on Tuesday that he is pressing on with a bid to re-start negotiations on reuniting Cyprus, nearly two years after talks collapsed.
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.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the northern third of the island in response to a Greek military junta-sponsored coup.
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.