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‘Any opportunities must be seized’ UNSG report urges

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Reports on the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and the office of good services made by Secretary General Antonio Guterres were released as official documents on Thursday.

The two reports cover the period from December 13, 2022 to June 12, 2023.

In the UNFICYP report, the secretary general calls on the leaders of the two sides to take urgent action to address mistrust between them.

“As time works against a mutually acceptable political settlement in Cyprus, I call on both sides to create space for meaningful dialogue, to send a clear and unequivocal message that this time things will be different,” he said.

Regarding the fenced-off area of Varosha, Antonio Guterres reiterated his concern about any new development and the lack of response to the call of the security council to reverse actions taken after the announcement of the partial reopening of the city in October 2020.

The general secretary added that both he and his advisors will continue to be in contact and in dialogue with both parties guided by the relevant resolutions of the security council.

In his good services report, the UNSG stressed that an important step would be agreement by both sides to appoint a UN envoy to explore ways of reaching common ground and resume negotiations for a settlement.

He also noted that any opportunities to build trust and goodwill that may arise in the coming period must be seized with meaningful initiatives.

“Such initiatives are vital to building momentum toward a dialogue that could ultimately chart a path back to settlement talk,” Guterres said.

The UNSG referred to the first face-to-face meeting between Christodoulides and Tatar, as “a positive step for establishing a connection between the two sides.”

Guterres emphasised in the report that regional dynamics and bilateral relations between the guarantor powers of Greece and Turkey have improved.

Referring to the inter-communal technical committees, Guterres pointed out that they could do more, noting in particular that obstacles faced by the technical committee for education must be addressed.

 

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