STORY: Cyprus 5+1 Informal Talks
TRT: 01 min 51s
SOURCE: UNTV CH
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 27 APRIL 2021 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
UN chief ‘realistic’ at start of fresh bid to resolve Cyprus stalemate
A fresh United Nations-led bid to seek to resolve decades of tensions in Cyprus was due to get under way in Geneva on Tuesday, with Secretary-General António Guterres “realistic” about the chances of making progress, his spokesperson said.
“The Secretary-General decided to organize this meeting following the consultations conducted over the past several months on his behalf by Under Secretary-General Jane Holl Lute,” Stephane Dujarric told journalists at the UN Palais des Nations.
“As we have repeatedly said, the purpose of the meeting will be to determine whether common ground exists for the parties to negotiate a lasting solution to the Cyprus issue within a foreseeable horizon.”
The development comes four years after Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders last met to discuss the future of the divided Mediterranean island.
The talks stalled after a week.
This time round, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is scheduled to oversee three days of informal meetings in the Swiss city, beginning on Tuesday afternoon.
His first bilateral appointments were due to be with Turkish-Cypriot President Ersin Tatar followed by Greek-Cypriot President President Nicos Anastasiades.
While Mr. Anastasiades is a veteran of UN-led negotiations over the island’s peaceful future, Mr. Tatar heads the Turkish-Cypriot delegation for the first time, after becoming President in October 2020.
“(The) Secretary-General is realistic,” said Mr. Dujarric. “This is an issue that he knows well, he has participated in discussions before, so he is…he is realistic.”
Discussions in the Swiss city will also feature delegations from Greece, Turkey and the UK – all guarantor powers of Cyprus that agreed to the island’s independence in 1960 who have historically featured in discussions over next steps.
The development comes after Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots marched for peace at the weekend in Nicosia, Europe’s last divided capital, split for more than four decades.
“The Secretary-General will move forward based on the outcome of these, of the informal talks,” said Mr. Dujarric. “As we’ve said – and I think I’ve said back in February in other times in briefings in New York – the parties are welcome to be creative and the Secretary-General will be encouraging them to move - you know - to use diplomatic language in a sincere and frank, and frank manner. Again, it’s important to stress that these are informal, informal talks.”
At the last UN-led conference on Cyprus in 2017, the leaders from the island’s Greek and Turkish communities held talks on six main issues, including security and guarantees, new territorial boundaries, and power-sharing.