UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says sharing natural resources should be a strong incentive to seek mutually acceptable solutions for Turkish and Greek Cypriot administrations.

Guterres urged guarantor powers to support dialogue and cooperation between the two communities.
Guterres urged guarantor powers to support dialogue and cooperation between the two communities. (AA)

The UN has said the Turkish and Greek Cypriot administrations should benefit from natural resources in and around Cyprus, urging cooperation between both communities on energy projects.

These resources should "constitute a strong incentive for the parties to urgently seek mutually acceptable and durable solutions to disagreements," Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a report obtained on Tuesday by Anadolu Agency.

The report, which covers developments on the island from December 16, 2021 to June 14, 2022, said public confidence in the possibility of securing a settlement on the island has remained low.

The report revealed that internal political developments and socio-economic issues dominated public debate and media attention in both communities.

The report also noted that prospects for reaching common ground on the Cyprus peace process remain uncertain for the time being, citing the continued absence of "substantive dialogue" and given the prevailing socio-economic and political climate.

"It should be recalled that the future of the process remains in the hand of the parties. As we continue to support them in seeking common ground, the parties’ display of political will and flexibility remain of paramount importance," the UN chief said in the report.

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Decades-long dispute

Guterres urged guarantor powers to support dialogue and cooperation between the two communities.

"Continued efforts are needed to find a mutually acceptable way forward to ultimately bring the Cyprus issue to a settlement and bring peace and prosperity to all," he added.

The report said discussions have continued with the leaders of the two communities and their representatives, as well as representatives of Greece, Türkiye and the UK and Northern Ireland.

The island has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN 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 Türkiye'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 Türkiye, Greece and the UK.

The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN's Annan plan to end the longstanding dispute.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies