The United Nations is urging rival Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders to seize this “historic opportunity” to reunify their island, which has been divided since 1974.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was not at the opening session of the resumed Cyprus talks Wednesday, but he sent his personal representative, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, to deliver a message to the two Cypriot leaders and the guarantor powers in attendance.

“This is a historic opportunity to solve a problem that has been there for decades,” Feltman said. “And, what we heard this morning gave us the hope and the conviction that the leaders and the three guarantors have come to this conference with the determination to overcome the challenges and resolve the issues.”

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