Source In Cyprus

NICOSIA, Cyprus--The focus of the mission of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General in Cyprus is to build trust and respect between the two communities in divided Cyprus.

This is what special envoy Colin Stewart told members of the UN Security Council which held a three-hour meeting in New York on Monday on the latest reports by the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on his Good Services Mission and UNFICYP.

The mission is now focused on building trust and respect between the two communities so as to lead to the creation of a better environment for building peace on the divided island.

The informal comments to the media after the meeting were made by Odd-Inge Kvalheim, Deputy Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations. He is also President of the Security Council for the month of January.

In his report, Guterres had recommended that the Security Council extend its mandate for another six months until 31 July 2022.

He also noted that during the last six months he has seen a further deepening of mistrust between both sides and the two communities.

He encouraged the leaders and their representatives to maintain dialogue and to engage with each other and expressed concern over the lack of interaction between the two communities while urging leaders to engage in more direct contact and cooperation.

Cyprus has been divided since a 1974 invasion by Turkey which still maintains troops in the breakaway northern part.

Its latest provocation was the recent opening of the ‘ghost’ town of Varosha in Famagusta for imminent settlement despite UN resolutions calling for the return of the coastal resort to its legal Greek Cypriot inhabitants.

UNSC members expressed strong concern and condemnation over the situation in Varosha, Kvalheim, also said.