The United Nations Security Council late Tuesday discussed the U.N. secretary-general's latest report on the settlement of the Cyprus issue for the first time and urged the two sides to exert constructive effort for progress.
Speaking at a press briefing after the meeting, U.N. Security Council President Sacha Sergio Llorenti Soliz said the council urged all involved parties to engage constructively with openness and creativity in finding a way to settle the Cyprus issue, in line with the recommendations of the related report, without unreasonable delays.
Accordingly, the Security Council reiterated the importance of a comprehensive and durable settlement based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a report on the Cyprus issue to the U.N. in mid-October in a bid to restart peace talks for the island, underlining that "prospects for a comprehensive settlement between the communities on the island remain alive."
Meanwhile, the U.N. secretary-general's envoy, Jane Holl Lute, met with the two leaders yesterday to explore the willingness of the two sides to propose new ideas as part of an overall solution. Last week, Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı also agreed to open two more checkpoints along the militarized frontier that separates the island.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, resulting in Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power. Negotiations over Cyprus resumed after the 2004 U.N.-backed Annan Plan to reunify the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities, though the talks have continuously stalled and resumed multiple times since they began.
The most recent talks aimed at reunifying the island came to an impasse in Switzerland in July 2017. Turkey blames Greek Cypriot intransigence for the talks' failure and has been maintaining that it has always been willing to exert the necessary effort to find a solution to the decades-long Cyprus issue. In relation to the issue, the United Kingdom's ambassador to Ankara, Dominick Chilcott, previously told Daily Sabah that the U.K. worked very hard on the Annan Plan to deliver a settlement for the good of both communities in Cyprus. However, Chilcott added that the U.K. was hugely disappointed when the Greek Cypriot side voted against the Annan Plan despite all the effort.
UK, Pakistan support equal
sharing of island's resourcesIn addition to the existing political crisis over the division on the island, tensions have recently escalated due to unilateral attempts by Greek Cyprus to tap gas and oil in the disputed areas of the eastern Mediterranean, drawing criticism from Turkish officials and some diplomats.
Commenting on the exploitation of hydrocarbons and drilling, Chilcott underscored that the natural resources around the island of Cyprus should be used for the benefit of all the people on the island, meaning both communities, and the U.K. would feel uncomfortable if the contrary happens. Speaking to Daily Sabah previously, Pakistani President Arif Alvi also stated that Pakistan supports Turkey on the Cyprus issue.
Ankara considers the Greek side's activities as a violation of the sovereign rights of Turkish Cyprus, maintaining that it will not allow any fait accompli or unilateral steps on the island and will never shy away from taking steps to protect the interests of Turkish Cypriots and Turkish people.