UN deputy advisor on Cyprus meets Anastasiades, Akinci ahead of new envoy’s visit


The United Nations general secretary’s deputy advisor for Cyprus is meeting on Friday with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

Elizabeth Spehar met with Anastasiades in the morning and was to hold talks with Akinci later in the day, laying the groundwork for a visit to the divided island of the UN’s new special Cyprus envoy, Jane Holl Lute.

According to Kathimerini’s Cyprus edition, Lute had requested that these preliminary meetings take place ahead of her official visit, expected in late July.

Lute, a seasoned diplomat and former US deputy secretary of Homeland Security, succeeds Norwegian diplomat-turned-politician Espen Barth Eide, who was the latest go-between for the two Cypriot leaders and the UN up until the collapse of talks in July 2017 during a Cyprus conference in Crans Montana, Switzerland.

Anastasiades said in a recent statement he would tell Lute that the Greek Cypriot side is ready to pick things up from where they were left off, referring to Crans Montana.

“We will express our determination to Ms Lute for the continuation of dialogue from the point where it became a dead end, always based on the framework that was set by the statement on the 30th (of June), as it was further clarified on 4 July 2017,” the president said.

Lute is expected to hold meetings in Ankara, Athens, and London before her visit to Cyprus, as it has been customary among her predecessors.

Spehar is expected to travel to New York where she will meet with Lute next week.