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Parties in Cyprus can “present the positions they will present” says UN chief

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said the mandate he has from the UN Security Council  refers explicitly to a bizonal, bicommunal solution in divided Cyprus.

But, he added, “this is not an impediment for the parties to present the positions they will present”.

Talking to journalists in New York late on Thursday, Guterres also said his intention is to convene early in March a meeting of the 5+1.

“That meeting we decided to be an informal meeting without preconditions…There are these changes in the administration of northern Cyprus.

“It is important that there is a chance of all the people to frankly discuss among themselves how they see the future and to see how to move forward,” he also said.

He then noted that his mandate from the Security Council is for UN involvement in relation to the negotiations. And that this mandate refers explicitly to a bizonal, bicommunal solution.

“Obviously this is not an impediment for the parties to present the positions they will present. I am always ready to go to the Security Council and if there is an agreement of the parties enlarging the scope of the negotiations, to be interpreted as a common agreement in this regard,” he added.

The first step is to bring the parties together, to listen to them and to see the result of that discussion.

“And the fact that Ι stick to the mandate I received doesn’t mean that I am not open to listen to everybody, to take the conclusions of that discussion based on whatever the parties come to a common view about the future” he concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest UN backed round of talks took place in 2017, in the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana, but failed to yield any results.

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