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UN chief urges leaders to “reflect deeply” (REPORT)

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders to think long and hard about next steps for the Cyprus problem in his first official remarks since he closed down the Conference on Cyprus in Crans Montana on July 7.

“Given the disappointing outcome of the Conference, I invite the parties and in particular the leaders to reflect deeply upon the results and the possible road ahead,” Gutteres said the report to the UN Security Council on the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

Talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, the guarantor powers (Turkey, Greece and the UK), and the EU as an observer broke down amid mutual recriminations on July 7 after nearly two weeks of talks focusing mainly on security and guarantees.

The parties have engaged in nothing but the blame game since, reducing any expectations that the talks can be revived.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL REPORT ON UNFICYP

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A longer report on the Good Offices mission – the mission headed by Espen Barth Eide, which was charged with helping to solving the Cyprus problem – is due in the coming weeks.

Some hope that this report will go into more details about why the talks broke down, who is to blame and will state whether the will continue trying to help Cyprus solve its longstanding problem.

UN budgets are under pressure because of the US’s desire to cut its contribution to the UN by 40%.

If the Good Offices mission is to close, that would probably be announced in the second report.

Guterres left the door slightly ajar. In the same report, he said: “As to the United Nations, as facilitator of the process, its role in the framework of the negotiations remains at the disposal of the parties.”

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