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Cyprus problem requires a local solution to succeed, UN envoy stresses

3 May 2007 No plan to resolve the Cyprus problem will be successful in the long run unless it is a local one in which every person in both communities feels their voice has been heard and they understand the ramifications of what is proposed, the head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) said today.

Michael Møller, who is also the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Cyprus, called on Cypriots to step up, engage in dialogue and “bring home new ideas and inspiration for action” as part of the debate over the Mediterranean island’s future.

Michael Møller, who is also the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Cyprus, called on Cypriots to step up, engage in dialogue and “bring home new ideas and inspiration for action” as part of the debate over the Mediterranean island’s future.

Speaking at the International Civil Society Fair, held in Nicosia, Mr. Møller noted that an inter-communal survey released last week by UNFICYP found that both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots supported the creation of more contacts between the two communities, but were also wary of any non-Cypriot attempts in this area that could be perceived as interfering or meddling, instead of assisting or facilitating.

“Understanding and peace is best achieved by those who already know each other,” Mr. Møller said. “It is seldom sustainable if imposed by outsiders. And the population of this island instinctively understands this.”

He therefore called on Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to become part of a more active and less passive civil society that can offer grassroots ideas about solutions that might then have more chance of success in the longer-term.

“I am convinced that no solution to the problem of Cyprus will be sustainable or take sufficiently strong root unless every Cypriot has the conviction that he or she truly understands all its components and ramifications and, more importantly, feels that their voice has been heard and that they have had a say in shaping that solution. The Cyprus problem must have a Cypriot solution.”



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