Natural resources in and around the island of Cyprus must be shared between the two communities, the United Nations said, underlining the need for energy cooperation.
According to U.N. chief Antonio Guterres’ report on the period between December 2021 and June 2022 seen by Anadolu Agency (AA), public trust that the Cyprus question will be solved has decreased.
The report indicated that internal political developments and socioeconomic issues have weighed on public opinion and the agenda of the media.
It was said that public opinion has been dominated by "the uncertainty and polarization in politics on the Turkish side and the election campaign planned to be held in 2023 on the Greek side."
The report said hopes of reaching common ground in the peace process remain unclear for now, "given the absence of substantial dialogue and full-fledged negotiations between the parties in Cyprus, and the current socioeconomic and political climate."
"Natural resources on the island and its surroundings should benefit both communities and constitute a strong incentive for urgently mutually acceptable and lasting solutions to disputes on this issue and ongoing energy cooperation projects in the region," the report said.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) recently presented the United Nations proposals for cooperation with the Greek Cypriot administration on hydrocarbons, electricity, renewable energy and water on the basis of a two-state solution.
It was also noted that the U.N. assistant secretary-general for political affairs, Miroslav Jenca, is planning a visit to Turkey.
Guterres' report also called on the guarantor countries, saying: “Once again, I encourage all Cypriots to take an active role in shaping the future of the island and to look to the future with pragmatism. Continuing effort is needed for a mutually acceptable way to bring about a final solution to the Cyprus problem and bring peace and prosperity to all. I call on the guarantor countries to support dialogue and cooperation between the two communities.”
Cyprus has been mired in a decadeslong dispute between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the U.N. to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.
In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece's annexation led to Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the TRNC was founded in 1983.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.
The Greek Cypriot administration entered the European Union in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted the U.N.'s Annan Plan to end the longstanding dispute.