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UN chief to decide on his next steps on Cyprus after Lute’s return to New York 

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will decide on his next steps on the Cyprus issue after the return of his Special Envoy Jane Hall Lut to New York, UN Secretary-General spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a regular briefing to the press at the United Nations headquarters on Thursday.

Noting that the the Security Council unanimously voted to extend the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until January 31, 2019, Dujarric added that “we obviously welcome the fact that the mandate was renewed.”

Asked whether the Secretary-General saw this as a time of fresh opportunity and direct engagement from the Secretary-General himself, Dujarric said that Jane Hol Lute had gone to Cyprus and listened to what the parties had to say.

“She is back in New York and then the Secretary-General will decide on next steps,» he added.

The Security Council adopted resolution S/2018/737 renewing UNFICYP’s mandate.

The Republic of Cyprus remains divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island. Numerous UN-backed talks, aiming at reunifying the island under a federal roof, have failed to yield any results. The latest round of peace talks took place in July last at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana but ended inconclusively.

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