Cyprus says it accepts UN mission to probe restarting peace negotiations

Li Jiayao

NICOSIA, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus has responded positively to a suggestion by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to send an envoy for consultations over the resumption of the stalled peace negotiations, the government spokesman said on Saturday.

"This is something President Nicos Anastasiades has been asking all along," Prodromos Prodromou said in commenting on a UN report on Cyprus handed to the UN Security Council members on Friday.

Guterres said in a report on his good services mission to Cyprus that an envoy will visit the eastern Mediterranean island during the coming weeks to try to clarify the positions of the parties and help him decide whether the conditions are ripe for a substantive process on Cyprus.

The negotiations floundered in July 2017 at an international conference in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, with the Greek side accusing Turkey of insisting on intervention rights and on troops staying on in Cyprus, and the Turkish side claiming that the Greek Cypriots were not ready to share power in a bi-communal federal state.

"I believe that there is still a margin for the sides to act with responsibility and decisiveness to draw a joint course for the island," Guterres said.

He also said that it is his firm belief that for a new process to be successful the sides must follow a balanced approach to a six-point formula he submitted at Crans-Montana.

Guterres said his framework could be the basis for negotiations to reach a strategic agreement and prepare for a comprehensive settlement.

His proposals deal with territorial adjustments and political equality of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, how to manage abandoned properties, equal rights and security and guarantees.

Prodromou said that it is now up to Turkey to reply to Guterres' suggestion and give a clear answer on ending intervention rights and on pulling out its occupation troops.

Turkey occupied part of Cyprus in 1974, in reaction to a coup by the military rulers of Greece at the time.


Related News