UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underlined on Wednesday the importance for the two sides in Cyprus to quickly reach an agreement on the terms of reference, in order to start settlement talks, adding that “the political process needs to be restarted.”
Replying to a question by CNA, during a press conference ahead of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, Guterres conveyed the message that “it’s very important to quickly come to an agreement on the terms of reference to be able to start substantial talks that this time I would hope would be different from all past ones. So that is the message I will convey to all the leaders that I will meet.”
The Secretary-General explained that it is time to at least agree on the terms of reference, based on the work that was done, namely on Crans Montana, “because I’m a strong believer that the political process needs to be restarted and I think that is also very important for the parties.”
“I see a lot of impatience, namely the Security Council with the fact that there has been no progress. So I believe that there are very good reasons for the parties to understand that at least on terms of reference they need to come to an agreement” Guterres concluded.
The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
(Cyprus News Agency)