“While the parties have made steady progress, I see a need for an increase in the pace of the talks as the sides start to address issues more holistically,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in the report, dated May 15.
“Indeed, the parties themselves recognize that a settlement will be harder to reach as each day passes without a solution.”
Ban said the parties “acknowledge that the status quo is unacceptable and that the process cannot be open-ended.”
Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat started reunification talks in September. Cyprus was split after a Turkish invasion in 1974 that was triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup.
Previous reunification efforts on Cyprus collapsed in 2004 when Greek Cypriots rejected a U.N. settlement blueprint accepted by Turkish Cypriots.
The U.N. envoy for Cyprus, Alexander Downer, who oversees the current talks, said on Thursday that the island’s leaders met in a tete-a-tete session and will meet again in a week, according to transcribed remarks made available by the U.N.
In his report, Ban recommended that the Security Council extend the U.N. mandate in Cyprus for a further six months until Dec. 15. The Security Council is scheduled to discuss Cyrus on Friday.
Financial Mirror, May 22, 2009 – By Megan Davies (Reuters)