UN envoy holds consultations with leaders of Greek, Turkish Cypriots on restarting negotiations

UN envoy holds consultations with leaders of Greek, Turkish Cypriots on restarting negotiations

United Nations envoy Jane Holl Lute on Sunday held further consultations with the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities on restarting the stalled peace negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus.

It was the fourth trip to Cyprus by Lute since an international conference in Switzerland on Cyprus ended inconclusively in July 2017.

Lute was on a mission on behalf of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to facilitate the two leaders to come up with terms of reference for a resumption of Cyprus negotiations.

She met in the morning for more than two hours with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, in his capacity as leader of the Greek Cypriots. Early in the afternoon she crossed the dividing line of the capital Nicosia for talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

Chief Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, who attended the meeting with Anastasiades, along with Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides, said that during a "very good and creative" talk, Anastasiades reiterated his determination to work for a solution as soon as possible.

"He told Lute that he was ready to develop the new ideas he has come up with within the Guterres framework," Mavroyiannis said.

The so-called Guterres framework was a draft outline agreement of six points for a possible Cyprus solution submitted before the collapse of the negotiations in 2017.

Mavroyiannis said Anastasiades told Lute that "he accepts political equality as requested by the United Nations and as recorded in the Secretary-General's report".

Political equality is considered by Turkish Cypriots as meaning that there must be a positive vote on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot community, accounting for about 20 percent of the population, to make any valid decision by all executive, judicial and legislative organs of a future federal state.

This is a sticking point in the negotiations, along with the demand by Greek Cypriots that Turkey must abandon guarantee and intervention rights and pull out troops it sent to the eastern Mediterranean island in 1974, in response to a coup by the military rulers of Greece at the time.

Mavroyiannis said Anastasiades repeated to Lute his invitation for a joint meeting with Akinci in her presence.


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