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Cyprus

Positive feedback from UN Security Council on Cyprus talks

The resolution on the renewal of UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) mandate contains minor changes compared with last June’s resolution, diplomatic sources have todl the Cyprus News Agency, it said on Sunday.

The same sources said the Cypriot mission to the UN would exert efforts to improve the paragraphs regarding missing persons, CNA said.

According to the same sources the consultations on the resolution will be short. The public UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting is scheduled for January 28.

During the unofficial deliberations on Friday, in the presence of UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, and Lisa Buttenheim Chief of Mission in Cyprus, all UNSC members expressed their support for the negotiations.

According to a UNSC diplomat, speaking in Friday`s deliberations, the British permanent representative said the resolution was a technical roll-over that reflected the state of play in the negotiations. On the chapter on security and guarantees, he said Britain as a guarantor power would not stand in the way of decisions made by the two communities.

The US representative referred to the US Secretary of State John Kerry`s visit to the island late last year, and stressed that any agreement should come from the Cypriots themselves. The US also highlighted that public opinion in Cyprus should back the settlement, adding that positive messages should be promoted. The US diplomat also made positive remarks on the work of the technical committees in Cyprus and the confidence building measures being promoted.

The representatives of France, Russia, China, Spain and Egypt highlighted that the need for the effort to bring about a settlement should be cautiously managed, and stressed that the Cypriot leaders themselves should achieve the settlement.

The representatives of Russia and Egypt raised the issue of continued violations of Cypriot airspace by Turkish fighter jets, stressing that such actions negatively affected the climate in the negotiations. Moreover, Egypt said the solution should be based on the relevant UN resolutions and the joint declaration of February 11 2014, noting that a Cyprus settlement would be conducive to stability in the region.

He also called on all players in the region to play their part in the international aspects of the Cyprus problem, expressing hope that the developments in the issue of the missing persons would lead contribute to increased exhumations and identifications.

The Spanish representative made positive comments in the efforts to include more women in the peace process, whereas China reiterated its long-standing position for the respect of the Cyprus Republic`s territorial integrity and sovereignty, CNA reported.

Briefing the UNSC members, Eide and Buttenheim said the two leaders in Cyprus had assumed the ownership of the peace talks. They talked about significant progress but cautioned that there was no room for over-optimism that would derail the process.

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