Europe
UN urges Cyprus issue parties to renew will, commitment to solution
Last Updated: 2018-08-09 14:48 | Xinhua
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The United Nations on Wednesday urged all parties involved in the Cyprus problem to renew their political will and commitment to a settlement ending the division of the eastern Mediterranean island.

Elizabeth Spehar, the UN Secretary General's Special Representative in Cyprus, said that the onus for restarting peace negotiations, which stalled a year ago, is on the two Cypriot communities.

"Any sustainable solution has to come, first and foremost, from both leaders and more broadly from Cypriots themselves," the UN official said at an event to honor troops from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay, who served in the UN peace force in Cyprus.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres sent a special envoy in Cyprus last month to query President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci whether they would commit themselves to continuing negotiations based on a six-point framework proposal he submitted just before the latest round of talks ended in disagreement in Switzerland in July 2017.

The envoy also traveled to Turkey, which keeps about 40,000 troops on Cyprus after it occupied its northern part in a 1974 military operation, prompted by a coup against the Cypriot government organized by the military rulers of Greece.

The Guterres framework covers the core issues of the Cyprus problem, including security arrangements, troop withdrawals and territorial adjustments, reallocation of properties, equality and settlement rights.

Spehar noted that the Security Council, in a recent resolution extending the peace keeping force's mandate, urged the sides to renew their political will and commitment to a settlement.

"For our part, we will continue to work for the goal of peace on this island," Spehar said in referring to a good services mission entrusted to the Secretary General by the Security Council.

Cypriot President Anastasiades said as recently as last week that he would be ready to restart negotiations at any time based on the Guterres framework, provided that there would be adequate preparation to avoid another failure.

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