UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the Cyprus issue during a press conference he gave on Thursday, 28 January 2021 at the headquarters of the international organization, during which he presented the 2021 UN priorities.
Wrapping up his presentation, Guterres answered questions from reporters.
Regarding the Cyprus issue, the Anadolu Agency correspondent, referring to Antonio Guterres’s recent phone conversation with the Turkish Cypriot leader and his report on his good services in Cyprus, asked the Secretary General where and when he would convene the 5+1 meeting. At the same time, referring to the statement by the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar that “we deserve a separate state”, he called on Antonio Guterres to clarify whether he would stick with the solution of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation or whether he was open to new ideas.
In his response, the Secretary General noted that his intention was to convene in early March a meeting in the form of 5+1 comprising delegations from the United Nations, the two communities and the guarantor powers, namely Greece, Turkey, plus the United Kingdom. He added that they had decided this meeting to be informal, without conditions. He added that there had been changes in the administration of ‘Northern Cyprus’ and therefore it is important that everyone has the opportunity to honestly discuss with each other how they see the future and how they see things moving forward.
“I have a mandate from the Security Council to include the United Nations in the negotiations. This mandate explicitly refers to a bi-zonal, bi-communal solution.
Obviously, this is not an obstacle to the meeting of the negotiators whom we invite to present their positions. I am always ready to head to the Security Council and, provided that there is an agreement between the parties to expand the scope of the negotiations, to translate it as a joint agreement on the matter.
The first step is to bring the parties together, listen to them and see the outcome of the discussion. Just because I stand by the mandate I received does not mean I am not open to hearing everyone out and drawing conclusions from the debate, on the basis that the parties can reach a common vision for the future,” he said.