Thursday, January 12, 2017

UN Secretary General: expect no immediate solutions to Cyprus reunification

The United Nations Secretary General said Thursday that neither miracles nor immediate solutions should be expected during negotiations taking place this week in Geneva regarding the reunification of Cyprus.

Antonio Guterres appeared before the press, flanked by Cyprus' President, Nikos Anastasiadis and the Turkish-Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci.

"We are not looking for a quick fix, we are looking for a solid and sustainable solution for the Republic of Cyprus and for the communities," Guterres said.

He said an eventual reunification process would require to simultaneously guarantee security concerns raised by both parts of the divided island.

It was Guterres' first serious involvement in the Cyprus dispute, one that has engaged the UN's peacekeeping forces for more than 50 years.

It was also the first conference that has brought together the leaders of the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities with the heads of the Greek, Turkish and British diplomacy, the three nations that in 1960 committed themselves to become the guarantors of Cyprus' security and independence.

"This is historic," Guterres said. "It is the first time that both main actors meet at the same table with the guarantors," he added.

Guterres said the first part of the conference, that took place behind closed doors, had been "extremely constructive."

However, he said it had been during the working lunch that important exchange of ideas took place in the search to resolve the most discordant issues outstanding.

"We have identified and analyzed the complexity of certain security and guarantee issues that need to be solved." the UN leader said.

Turkey has deployed some 30,000 soldiers in the north of the island since its 1974 invasion, in the wake of a coup d'etat backed by the Greek military that became known as "The Colonel's regime."

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