The United Nations remains committed to helping rival Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots reach an agreement to bridge the island nation’s ethnic rift, a senior UN official said Wednesday. The problem has been a source of instability in the east Mediterranean for decades.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo said that she reiterated to new Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides the “commitment of the Secretary-General to supporting a resolution on the Cyprus issue.” Christodoulides has said that his new administration’s top priority remains a deal reunifying Cyprus as a federation and is keen to get the ball rolling on resuming the process that has been stalemated since the last round of talks in 2017.
There had been a long-held understanding that any deal would reunify Cyprus as a federation made up of a Turkish-speaking zone in the north and a Greek speaking zone in the south. But Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are now seeking a two-state deal that recognizes separate Turkish Cypriot sovereignty, something that Greek Cypriots reject out of hand. It has also been shunned by the European Union, the UN, the United States, and other countries. Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots accuse the EU of not being even-handed because although Cyprus is a bloc member, only the south enjoys full benefits.
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