“The Cyprus talks are a complicated and complex ongoing process. And it’s ongoing,” UNSG’s spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric has said.
Dujarric was asked during a briefing on Monday about the UN-backed negotiations for a Cyprus solution and the Conference on Cyprus which took place in Geneva. He was not in a position to say when the Conference will reconvene.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.
The Conference on Cyprus convened in Geneva, on January 12, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, with the participation of Anastasiades and Akinci, the Foreign Ministers of Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom as guarantor powers, and in the presence of the European Union as an observer, to address the issue of security and guarantees, a crucial chapter in discussions for a Cyprus settlement.
It decided to establish a working group at the level of deputies to identify specific questions and the instruments needed to address them, and that the Conference will continue at political level immediately thereafter to review the outcome of the working group’s discussions.
In parallel, according to the decision, the negotiations on outstanding issues in the other chapters will continue between the two sides in Cyprus.
The working group of deputies met in Mont-Pelerin, Switzerland, on January 18-19, and according to the UNSG’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide “successfully completed the mandate entrusted to it by the Conference.”
Anastasiades and Akinci met on January 26 and decided to hold a new meeting on February 1, to determine the procedure and methodology to be followed at the ongoing UN-backed negotiations.