UNITED NATIONS — UN Security Council backing for the reunification of Cyprus is "encouraging," though no timetable is in the cards, the United Nations Special Adviser on Cyprus said Wednesday.

"All (15 Council members) were very encouraging for the work of the two leaders, and recognized the efforts they are making by thinking about the big picture instead of insisting on minor details," said Espen Barth Eide, the Norwegian adviser on Cyprus to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Eide, speaking after a closed-door council meeting, said this "new tone is recognized in New York and very much welcomed."

Long-stalled UN-brokered peace — in what is seen as the best chance in years to reunify Cyprus after four decades of division — were launched on May 15.

"There is a very good climate and real progress but a lot of work remains to be done," Eide cautioned.

"The message from every Security Council member that we just heard is there is not time to lose, this momentum must be upheld."

Eide said he was "very encouraged to go back to Cyprus and have our next meeting with the two leaders on Monday morning."

He was referring to Mustafa Akinci, leader of the Turkish-recognized north and Greek-Cypriot Nicos Anastasiades.

Asked about the idea of a timetable, Eide said none was sought.

"We all agree, the leaders, me and my team, that we do not want a timetable. I would be very hesitant to talk about a number of months or a date."

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops occupied its northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece.