‘Cyprus can be symbol of hope’ the world badly needs, says UN chief Guterres as conference opens

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An article from the United Nations News Centre

A United Nations-supported conference on Cyprus opened in Geneva today [12 January], bringing together the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot leaders in a dialogue chaired by Secretary-General António Guterres.. .


Secretary-General António Guterres with Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus (left) and Mustafa Akinci, Leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community (right) in Geneva. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré
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A United Nations-supported conference on Cyprus opened in Geneva today [12 January], bringing together the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot leaders in a dialogue chaired by Secretary-General António Guterres.

Speaking at a press conference during a recess, the UN chief said “it is my hope that there will be a breakthrough” that the people of Cyprus deserve and the world needs.

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“We are facing so many situations of disasters. We badly need a symbol of hope. I strongly believe Cyprus can be the symbol of hope at the beginning of 2017,” he added.

The conference brought together not only the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, but also the so-called guarantor powers – Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom for the first time.

Mr. Guterres paid tribute to the statesmanship displayed by Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for about 20 months of negotiations toward a united Cyprus.

The Secretary-General described the opening session of today’s talks as “extremely constructive,” adding that during lunchtime, the participants had open debate and brainstorming, in which “it was possible to identify, not only the very important progress that was made in the negotiations, as taken in the last few days on the first five chapters, but also to identify the complexity of the problems related to security and guarantees that need to be addressed and resolved.”

In that lunch, he continued, “it was possible to clearly come to the conclusion that we need to find instruments, instruments that allow for the implementation of the settlement that would be achieved in a way that guarantees simultaneously the response to the security concerns of the Turkish Cypriot community and the security concerns of the Greek Cypriot community.”

Mr. Guterres said the goal is neither a calendar nor a vanity fair, but to get the necessary results.

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