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29 Apr, 2021 10:53

Not enough headway made to restart formal negotiations over divided Cyprus, says UN chief

Not enough headway made to restart formal negotiations over divided Cyprus, says UN chief

The UN Secretary-General has said that rival Greek and Turkish Cypriots have not found enough common ground in order to restart peace negotiations on a formal level after a three-day summit.

Speaking on Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a news conference in Geneva that negotiations in the Swiss city had not been successful in breaking an impasse in peace negotiations. 

“The truth is that at the end of our efforts, we have not yet found enough common ground to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations,” Guterres told reporters. He added that the UN would in “probably two or three months” make a fresh attempt.

The parties had been engaged in a three-day summit led by the UN but involving the leaders of the Greek Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriots, and the foreign ministers of the three guarantor powers – the UK, Greece and Turkey. 

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Guterres had stated that the meeting’s aim was to “determine whether common ground exists for the parties to negotiate a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem within a foreseeable horizon.” 

The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded the north of the island after an attempted coup by the forces aiming to unite with Greece. Three attempts to reunify the island have failed since 2004. Greek Cyprus has been a member of the EU since 2004 and is therefore part of the customs union. 

The island, which gained independence from the UK in 1960, also hosts British overseas territory and military installations.

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