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Guterres recommends 6-month UNFICYP extension

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has recommended that the UN Security Council renews the mandate for the Organisation’s peacekeeping force (UNFICYP) in Cyprus.

A draft copy of Guterres’ report on UNFICYP was given to the members of the Security Council on Monday afternoon in which the UN Secretary-General recommends the extension of UNFICYP’s mandate in its present form for a further six months until January 31, 2018.

Guterres has prompted the island’s leaders to take into account the disappointing results of the Conference on Cyprus at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana and to reflect on a possible course to follow.

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“With regards to the United Nations, the role of the Organisation within the negotiation framework, as a facilitator of procedures, remains at the disposal of the sides,” states the report.

In his report, Guterres notes that progress on the chapter of security and guarantees is the primary element for reaching a comprehensive settlement and the building of trust between the two communities with regards to their future security.

He also noted that during his meeting with the two leaders on June 4, it was agreed that bicommunal negotiations would continue on all the other outstanding issues starting with territory, property and governance.

The Secretary-General underlined that UNFICYP continues to play a crucial role in maintaining a peaceful and safe environment in Cyprus as well as facilitating communication throughout the divided area.

At the same time, he invited the two communities to create a climate to facilitate economic and social equality between the two sides and to expand and deepen economic, social, cultural, athletic and similar institutional ties and the prospect of encouraging trade.

“Such contacts promote the trust between the communities and aid in dealing with Turkish Cypriot concerns of isolation. I invite the two leaders to insist in dealing with these issues,” said Guterres

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