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‘Bold leadership steps’ needed to restore confidence in Cyprus

UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman has expressed the view that it would take “some bold leadership steps” to restore confidence in Cyprus and move towards negotiations.

He has also reiterated that the goal in Cyprus is to reach a bicommunal, bizonal federation of political equality and pointed out that the two sides have agreed that resources discovered offshore should benefit the population of the island as a whole.

Feltman, who was replying to a journalist’s question on a solution of the Cyprus problem, said that “the Security Council has again pronounced itself on this question which is that the goal is a bicommunal, bizonal federation of political equality. So that would be the mandate that the UN would have in trying to look forward and trying to help the parties achieve a political solution.”

But, the UN official continued, “I have to recognise, there is great distrust right now, there has been loss of confidence between the two sides because of the collapse of the talks in Crans-Montana.”

Negotiations in the Swiss resort broke down between the two sides last summer.

“And I believe it would take some bold leadership steps to start to restore the type of confidence that each side needs on the other, for us to move forward again towards any type of viable, sustainable negotiations,” he added.

This, in addition to managing hydrocarbon wealth, he said, “are long-term goals obviously and in the short-term we have tensions to address and we have to find ways to rebuild confidence to get back to negotiations.”

In the meantime, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Rosemary DiCarlo of the United States, President of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and Senior Fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University, as Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, succeeding Feltman, whose position expires on Saturday.


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