The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, is positive for further meetings of the two sides at the United Nations and in Cyprus, his Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).
At the same time, he praised the “face to face” meeting between Greek Cypriot Nikos Christodoulides and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, saying that it is a very positive step for their further cooperation, while he encouraged the two sides to find acceptable ways of dialogue, as this way they will manage to find a mutually acceptable path.
When asked by the Cyprus News Agency about the SG’s intentions and whether he plans to arrange a meeting next September with the two parties, the Deputy Spokesman of the Secretary General, Farhan Haq, said ““the Secretary-General’s mission of good offices remained engaged in facilitating meetings and discussions at various levels and promoting contact and rapprochement between the communities”.
The Secretary-General, Haq added, “has maintained contact and dialogue with the parties, as have his senior advisors at United Nations Headquarters and during visits to the island, and his Deputy Special Adviser and we will continue to do so in the coming period. In these efforts, the Secretary-General remains guided by relevant Security Council resolutions that have established United Nations parameters”.
Farhan Haq further underlined that the work of the technical committees is very important and should be increased as it helps to settle many important issues.
“The continuity of the work of the technical committees following the change in Greek Cypriot leadership and the commitment of both sides after the elections to pick up the pace of the committees’ activities, is welcomed. However, considering the many pressing issues that would benefit from intra-island cooperation, the Secretary General says that the technical committees could do more”.
When asked by CNA if the two parties are ready to re-engage in dialogue to seek a mutually acceptable way forward on the Cyprus issue, the Deputy Spokesperson stated that while “the underlying positions of the two sides on the peace process remained far apart, the Secretary-General says that the first face-to-face meeting of Mr. Nikos Christodoulides and Mr. Ersin Tatar was a positive step in establishing a connection between the two Cypriot leaders”.
The Secretary-General, Haq added, “encourages the two leaders to be proactive in seeking mutually acceptable modalities for dialogue at their level, as he believes this remains crucial for finding a mutually agreeable way forward. He also welcomes the direct channel of communication established between the two leaders as a means to build confidence and to exchange views on day-to-day issues of mutual concern”.