United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that he believes the prospects for a comprehensive settlement to reunify Cyprus "remain alive."
In a report to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, Guterres said he will prepare a way for negotiations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots to resume.
He added that Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı have said they are ready to resume talks.
Earlier in July, Guterres asked senior U.N. official Jane Holl Lute to sound out all sides, and in late September he met separately with Anastasiades and Akıncı. Akıncı and Anastasiades are expected to meet tomorrow to discuss the Cyprus issue, within the framework of U.N.-led peace talks, a result of Guterres' efforts.
Guterres said that the way ahead "must be well-prepared, with a sense of urgency and focus to seize the willingness of the two sides to negotiate."
"Prior to resuming full-fledged negotiations, the sides should agree on terms of reference that would constitute the consensus starting point for a possible negotiated conclusion to the Cyprus issue," he said.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.
The Greek Cypriot administration is a member of the EU and is internationally recognized by all nations except Turkey, which in turn remains the only country that recognizes the TRNC.
Guterres stressed in the report that the "continued support for a horizon of the endless process without result lies behind us, not before us."
"I believe that all Cypriots deserve a common future that one thing alone can bring: A lasting agreement achieved with a clear horizon," he added. The Turkish side has always been a supporting actor to U.N.-led negotiations to find a just and viable settlement to the Cyprus issue. However, the peace talks on the ethnically-divided i
sland have yielded no results so far. Turkey has been blaming Greek Cypriot intransigence for the failure of the talks, with rejections of several agreements and proposals in 1986, 1992, 2014 and, most recently, in July 2017. He expressed hope that new discussions "can lead, once again, to the deployment of the full weight of my good offices in what may prove a lasting resolution of the Cyprus issue."