The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres says the talks in Geneva to resolve the division of the ethnically-divided island of Cyprus are ‘close to a settlement’ but patience is needed. Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter also gave a cautious welcome to progress.
“We are coming close to a settlement on Cyprus but obviously there is still some way to go,” Guterres told reporters in Geneva on Thursday. “Don’t expect miracles.”
Accompanied by Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Guterres said instruments were needed to implement an end to a conflict which has defied mediation for decades.
“Our goal here is to get the necessary results, and to do that we want to work seriously for the amount of time that is necessary,” he said. “We are facing so many situations of disaster, we badly need a symbol of hope. I strongly believe Cyprus can be the symbol hope of the beginning of 2017.”
Guterres said talks will reconvene on Thursday afternoon and go on “as long as necessary”.