The United Nations on Thursday confirmed that an informal five-party conference will take place under its auspices on the Cyprus issue, in Geneva, between April 27 and 29. The purpose of meeting, the UN said, will be to determine whether there is common ground for the parties to negotiate a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem, within a foreseeable horizon.
The timing of conference – which will take place almost a month after the progress report of the European Union High Representative Josep Borrell on Turkey and the March 25-26 summit – is seen to reflect the efforts of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to avoid a possible negative impact on the Cyprus talks
The Greek Foreign Ministry noted that the aim of the conference is to find common ground that will lead to substantial negotiations for the settlement of the Cyprus issue.
“This solution should be based on UN Security Council resolutions, be compatible with European law and lead to a functioning and sustainable bi-communal, bi-zonal Federation,” it said, adding that Greece, as a guarantor power, intends to make a constructive contribution to efforts to achieve conference’s goal.
For his part, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reiterated Ankara’s intention to scrap what has been the basis for talks on a settlement that was agreed to and backed by the UN in the aftermath of Turkey’s invasion and occupation of the island’s northern part. He said that the federation-based solution has been discussed for 50 years to no avail and that various settlement plans appeared. Turkey, he said, supported these plans but the “efforts failed” because of the Greek Cypriots, “who do not want to share anything with the Turkish side.”
“Since we cannot agree on the federation, we must meet to discuss what issue we will hold talks on and find a formula for a permanent solution,” he said.