UN’s Guterres on Cyprus: ‘Not an easy meeting’

The informal 5+1 meeting on the Cyprus issue convened by the United Nations Secretary-General concluded on Thursday without reaching common ground, but a new round of meeting is planned in the near future, according to UN chief Antonio Guterres.

“This was not an easy meeting,” said Guterres at a press briefing after the meeting. “The truth is that, in the end of our efforts, we have not yet found enough common grounds to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations in relation to the settlement of the Cyprus problem.”

However, the UN chief vowed not to give up. “My agenda is very simple. My agenda is strictly to fight for the security and well-being of the Cypriots, of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, that deserve to live in peace and prosperity together.”

According to Guterres, the parties have agreed to convene in the near future another 5+1 meeting aimed at moving in the direction of reaching common ground to allow for the start of formal negotiations.

This week’s meeting started in Geneva on Tuesday, in the hope that the parties would find common ground to negotiate a lasting solution to the long-standing issue.

Parties of the meeting, chaired by Guterres, were the leaders of the two Cypriot communities — Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades representing the Greek Cypriot community and Ersin Tatar, leader of the Turkish Cypriots — as well as the so-called guarantor powers of Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, and UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab led the delegations of the guarantor countries.