The U.N. Security Council has urged the leaders of the divided island of Cyprus to keep the "momentum" going in the process to reach a "historic" settlement.
"We urge all parties to maintain the momentum and seize the opportunity they now have to secure a historic agreement," Swedish ambassador and Council President Olof Skogg told reporters after a closed-door session late Monday.
U.N. Cyprus envoy Espen Barth Eide, who briefed the Council about the latest developments along with U.N. Secretary-General's special representative, Elizabeth Spehar, said there still remained "key difficult issues to solve" including in particular security guarantees.
"One community traditionally sees the presence of Turkish troops as part of the solution while the other community sees it as part of the problem," he said, adding the ongoing presence of troops on the island was being looked at "through new eyes."
Both Turkish and Greek Cypriots and guarantor states – Turkey, Greece and Britain – are seeking "solutions that they can all live with," Eide said.
"Is it easy? No. Is the will there to find solutions? Yes. And that's what will be most of our focus now," he added.
The Geneva summit on Cyprus, which convened on Jan. 12, was widely seen as the best opportunity in four decades of reaching an agreement on creating a two-state federation.
Last week, the U.N. said the second session of the international U.N.-brokered talks on the reunification of Cyprus with the focus on security and guarantees was "successfully completed" in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland.
The earlier meeting in Geneva – also attended by the foreign ministers of guarantor powers Turkey, Greece, and Britain – ended in failure to agree on new borders and the presence of Turkish troops on the island.
The guarantors were assigned when Cyprus gained independence from the U.K. in 1960. As one of the powers, Turkey intervened in 1974 in response to an attempt by Greek Cypriot militants to unify with Greece. Ankara keeps around 30,000 troops stationed on the island.
Reunification talks on the island resumed last May and both sides have repeatedly expressed optimism a solution could be found.
Once a final agreement is reached, it would be put to both Cypriot communities in a referendum.
President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Mustafa Akıncı, has said a reunification vote could be held in mid-2017 pending agreement in Geneva.