UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that finding a joint agreement between the two Cypriot communities regarding the Cyprus problem may become impossible unless both sides make positive moves to that end, a report by Ahval said.
In his report to the UN Security Council on Monday, Guterres said that the two leaders needed to take a realistic approach to the problem, expressing his concerns that the positions taken by the two sides had become increasingly entrenched.
“I note with concern that the positions of the two communities seem to have become more stable and further apart in this recent period,”
In late April, 2021, the two Cypriot community leaders and representatives of the three guarantor countries – Turkey, Greece and Britain held informal talks in Geneva in an effort to seek common ground for the re-opening of formal negotiations. No agreement was reached after the Turkish Cypriot side, backed by Turkey, called for the two-state solution. The Greek Cypriot side and Greece insisted on a bizonal, bicommunal federation, citing UN resolutions on Cyprus.
The failure to find a solution has negative consequences for both sides, Guterres said. He urged the guarantor powers to do their utmost to support attempts to resolve the Cyprus issue in order to bring peace and prosperity to all Cypriots.
“I invite the parties to work constructively to find common ground for the resumption of meaningful peace negotiations,” Guterres said.
There have been numerous diplomatic endeavours to reunify the island under a federal roof, since Cyprus became divided following Turkey’s military intervention in 1974 in response to a Greek Cypriot attempted coup aimed at uniting (enosis) the island with Greece.
In his report, Guterres also reiterated his concerns over the partial re-opening by the Turkish Cypriots of the deserted resort town of Varosha/Marash, a suburb of Famagusta. The move was immediately condemned by Greece, the EU and the United States who, citing UN resolutions, said that any attempt to settle any part of the town by people other than its original inhabitants was “inadmissible”. The town should be put under the authority of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).