Following a meeting with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced that they had agreed on the need to reconvene the Conference on Cyprus in June, in line with the 12 January statement of the conference.
“All agreed that the chapter on security and guarantees is of vital importance to the two communities,” Secretary-General Guterres said at a press stakeout at the UN Headquarters, in New York, alongside the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mustafa Akıncı, late last evening.
“Progress in this chapter is an essential element in reaching an overall agreement and in building trust between the two communities in relation to their future security,” he added.
The leaders also agreed to continue in parallel the bi-communal negotiations in Geneva on all other outstanding issues, starting with territory, property and governance and power-sharing.
The UN chief and the leaders also agreed that all issues will be negotiated interdependently, as per the joint declaration of 11 February 2014.
Further in his remarks, Mr. Guterres said that his Special Adviser, Espen Barth Eide, would engage with all participants in the preparation of a common document to guide the discussions on security and guarantees, based on the outcome of the meetings of the conference on Cyprus in Geneva and Mont Pelerin.
In the follow-up to this meeting, the Secretary-General will reach out to the other participants of the conference: Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom and the European Union as an observer.
Separately, speaking to the media today at the UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Eide highlighted that the meeting between the two leaders was “frank and honest” and that while issues remained, both sides have a “shared vision of a united Cyprus”.
On the upcoming talks, he said that they would be “in principle open ended” and that there would not be an end date “because the end date is when we have solved the problem or, of course, concluded that it’s unsolvable.”
“We believe it will take some time, maybe […] up to two weeks.”