UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres joined the Conference for Cyprus in Crans-Montana, Switzerland on Friday.
Efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem are continuing with focus on the security and guarantee issues.
The Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, the Foreign Ministers of the Guarantor powers Greece’s Nicos Kotzias, Turkey’s Mevlut Cavusoglu, and Britain’s Special Envoy on Cyprus Jonathan Allen are among those seeking a solution under the UN’s auspices.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday urged leaders of ethnically-split Cyprus to grasp a ‘historic opportunity’ for peace, but acknowledged work was required.
“The voices in support of a solution are indeed getting louder. At the same time there is no doubt that some sensitive and difficult issues remain to be resolved,” Guterres told reporters in Crans-Montana.
Turkey’s military presence in northern Cyprus, where it maintains a contingent of up to 30,000 troops, is a key source of contention, along with Turkish Cypriot calls for a rotating presidency with Greek Cypriots.
“The security and guarantees chapter is of crucial importance for a comprehensive solution,” said Guterres. He said there was a commitment to find mutually acceptable solutions that would meet the concerns of both communities.
In the session on security and guarantees, “there were some new positions showing increased flexibility in some aspects”, he said, without elaboration.
“But it is slow progress and many outstanding issues are still to be resolved,” he said.
The conflict has defied mediators in the past. Diplomats say Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have come closer than any of their predecessors in crafting an accord to unite the island as a two-zone federation.