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Solving the Cyprus problem also makes economic sense, says UN envoy

Solving the Cyprus problem also makes economic sense, says UN envoy

The inability of many Cypriots to project what the positive elements of a settlement might look like in the future is holding back efforts to obtain a lasting solution to the dispute on the Mediterranean island, the senior United Nations envoy to Cyprus said today.

Michael Møller, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, told a conference in Nicosia that while the status quo on Cyprus was unacceptable, it was also not enough to merely make assertions that reaching a settlement was in the interests of everyone.

He welcomed the research contained in a new report on the projected commercial opportunities across the island if there was a solution to the Cyprus problem.

“I commend the authors for their outstanding work, which is bound to become a reference in all future consideration of the implications of a solution… and, necessarily, of the consequences of inaction,” he said, according to a press release from the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

“It helps answer a question at the front of every Cypriot’s mind, Greek and Turkish, one we should be doing more to address: ‘what will a solution mean to me and my family?’

“I, for one, am deeply convinced that a just settlement will mean increased security for the people of Cyprus, greater stability for the region, increase in trade and provision of services, the creation of conditions that will allow culture and art to flourish, and the emergence of Cyprus as a model of peaceful coexistence in a world riven by division.”

Solving the Cyprus problem makes economic sense, he stressed.

Mr. Møller said that it was important “to make clear that the peace dividend that will accrue to all Cypriots following a solution includes benefits that will impact their daily lives in very concrete ways, including in their pocketbooks.”

UNFICYP was established in March 1964 following the outbreak of intercommunal violence and is tasked with preventing a recurrence of fighting, and contributing to the maintenance and restoration of law and order and a return to normal conditions.