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Parties slam UNSG’s Cyprus report

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres came under fire from most opposition parties on Saturday over his omission to condemn Turkey’s illegal activities in the Cypriot exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in his latest report.

A draft of the report was circulated to the UN Security Council on Thursday night.

Disy, however, found it positive that Guterres referred to the issue of Varosha. The party also said it was important for a way to be found out of the deadlock so that substantive talks could resume.

Main opposition Akel pointed out that Guterres did not conceal his discontent that there has been no agreement on the terms of reference for the resumption of talks.

The fact the report did not mention Turkey’s illegal actions and aggression is problematic, the party said, adding that the fact that Guterres did not comment on the two leaders’ intentions on what they plan on doing as regards achieving a viable solution ought to trouble both of them.

The rest of the opposition mainly focused on the fact that Guterres did not mention in his report Turkey’s aggression in the Cypriot exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

For Diko, Guterres’ tolerance for the Turkish illegalities was “provocative”

“By avoiding condemning Turkish provocations, in essence he is encouraging Turkish aggression and perpetuates the negative climate a few days before the Berlin trilateral,” Diko said.

Edek said that it expects both Guterres and the UN, “if they are genuinely interested in resolving the Cyprus problem” to turn their efforts to the withdrawal of troops and the removal of the system of guarantees.

Head of the Greens Giorgos Perdikis said that it was very disappointing that Guterres was keeping an equidistant stance which proves that “he does not have the muscle and determination to tell the truth and to insist on the implementation of the UN decisions.”

The report was also accompanied by the notes the two leaders submitted last month at the request of the Security Council with the actions they have taken aimed at reaching a viable and comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

In his letter, President Nicos Anastasiades said for substantial negotiations to resume there was need for an environment that will allow constructive discussions in the same spirit and conditions that characterised all previous negotiating rounds.

Toward that end, he called on the UN Secretary-General, his Good Offices mission on Cyprus and the permanent members of the Secretary Council to adopt an assertive stance to convince Turkey to terminate its unlawful activities and her “negative interventions as regards the bicommunal aspects of the negotiating process and concentrate its efforts and work constructively towards reaching a comprehensive settlement on the Cyprus problem.”

He also said he has “engaged constructively” with UN envoy Jane Holl Lute in an effort to agree terms of reference based on which to resume the process.

After giving a detailed overview of what transpired during his meeting last August with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, he said he was “convinced that the minimalist document encapsulating the spirit of what was agreed on 9 August 2019, is the only way forward.”

He said that at the meeting, which he initiated, an understanding was reached, in principle, that the terms of reference should consist of the 2014 Joint Statement, the six-point package framework elaborated by the UNSG at Crans Montana, and the convergences achieved until the Crans Montana Conference.

Lute was in Cyprus on Saturday to hold separate meetings with the two leaders. She met Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci at 11am although no statements were made after the meeting.

She was due to meet Anastasiades at the Presidential Palace at 7pm.

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