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UNSG says keen to revitalise efforts on Cyprus

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres During Interview With Reuters At U.n. Headquarters In New York
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that he is eager to revitalise diplomatic efforts in Cyprus but is awaiting the result of the elections in the north.

Speaking before the 75th session of the UN general assembly, he stressed the need to create a positive environment.

“It is very important to develop confidence building measures and to avoid any unilateral actions that could undermine the future success of these negotiations,” he said.

Guterres added that as soon as the elections take place, he intends to reconvene with the guarantors and the two communities.

“I am totally committed to revitalise the political process,” he said.

Talks have stalled since the UN backed talks at the Swiss resort of Crans Montana collapsed in July 2017.

As for the elections in October, a poll in August showed current Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to be in the lead followed by Turkish Republican Party chairman Tufan Erhurman.

Akinci is widely seen as the most proactive in his diplomatic efforts and has made the message central to his campaign.

But rival candidate ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar on Tuesday night set out a different vision for the north, should he be elected.

Tatar said he would bring forward alternative proposals as regards the Cyprus problem. He has also criticised Akinci’s approach, and called for Varosha to be “liberated and revitalised”.

The pandemic means that 170 heads of state and government are due to make video statements during the week-long UN meeting starting on September 22.

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