Cyprus satisfied with UN report on continuing mission for peace solution

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NICOSIA, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus is in general satisfied with the contents of the report by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, which clarified the UN chief's intention to continue the effort in seeking a peace settlement of the split Mediterranean island, a presidential spokesman said on Wednesday.

"We take note, as particularly important, the fact that despite the difficulties taken account of in the report, it highlights the clear intention of the UN Secretary-General to continue the effort with a view to achieving progress in the process," the presidential spokesman said.

The report was also handed to the other parties in the Cyprus problem, namely Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom, as well as to the member states of the Security Council.

The report was prepared after a shuttle diplomacy mission over the last six months by Guterres' personal envoy, UN diplomat Jane Holl Lute, in Cyprus, where she consulted with the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot Communities.

She also visited the three "guarantor powers" of Cyprus, namely Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom, as well as the European Union (EU), since Cyprus is an EU member, in a bid to draft the terms of reference for further peace negotiations.

The UN chief said that though some progress was made in taking confidence building measures, mostly in the form of additional crossing points between the two parts of the split island, "there are low expectations for real progress or agreement on the terms of reference."

The Cypriot spokesman further said that the government was pleased with references in the report regarding natural gas exploration carried out by the government in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone.

"Regarding the enduring tensions surrounding hydrocarbons exploration, I reiterate that the natural resources found in and around Cyprus should benefit both communities and can constitute a strong incentive to find a durable solution to the Cyprus problem," Guterres said in his report.

Guterres said in his report that he would request Lute to continue discussions on his behalf, adding that the way ahead must be well prepared, with a sense of urgency and focus.

He noted that prior to the final collapse of the negotiations in Switzerland in July, 2017, he had submitted a six-point outline of a Cyprus solution, and urged all parties to build on that, expressing hope that the ongoing consultations will lead to a return to negotiations.

He pledged that he could devote "the full weight" of his good offices with the aim of reaching a lasting resolution of the Cyprus issue.

"In that respect, I call on the two leaders, their communities, the guarantor powers, and other interested parties to engage in these efforts constructively, creatively and with the necessary sense of urgency," Guterres said.

The Cyprus issue will come up for discussion at the Security Council, most probably in June, ahead of the extension of the mandate of the UN Peace Force in Cyprus for a further six months. Enditem

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