Ban Ki-moon urges ‘real engagement’ on Cyprus

Ban Ki-moon urges ‘real engagement’ on Cyprus

Ban Ki-moon
Just ahead of the anniversary of an agreement signed by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders on the framework for resuming full negotiations, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged “real engagement” on the issue.

In a statement released by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban urged the leaders of the two communities to demonstrate “the necessary imagination and political courage to move from talks about procedures to real engagement on substance.”

On 8 July last year, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leader reached an accord on establishing the necessary framework for a political process that was designed to lead to the resumption of full-fledged negotiations on solving the Cyprus problem.

But, “although the two sides continue to be engaged through regular discussions under the auspices of the United Nations – and both leaders express their commitment to a solution leading to a bi-zonal, bicommunal federation – it is regrettable that one year has passed without any start to the agreed process,” the statement said.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Cyprus, Michael Møller, underlined that it was time to fulfil the expectations raised by the signing of the agreement last year, and called for a renewal of confidence and mutual trust between the two communities.

Mr. Møller also stressed the importance of ensuring that Cypriots feel that their voices are being heard in helping to shape a solution to the Cyprus problem. Mr. Ban’s statement noted that although Cypriots have the main responsibility for resolving the issue, the UN remains willing to continue its efforts to assist.

The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is deployed on the island to supervise ceasefire lines, maintain a buffer zone and undertake humanitarian activities.