Cyprus President aims to resume talks on the basis of Guterres framework, Spokesman says

The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades is in contact with Jane Holl Lute, the envoy of the UN Secretary-General, making sure that the resumption of talks will be based on the Guterres framework’s six parameters, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou has said.

He added that the Cypriot government does not comment on how the UN takes minutes.

Speaking after a National Council session, on Friday at the Presidential Palace, Prodromou was asked about a reference made earlier by EDEK President Marinos Sizopoulos, regarding incomplete UN minutes taken during the 2017 Conference on Cyprus, at the Swiss resort of Crans Montana.

In his reply, Prodromou said that we never said anything about the minutes and pointed to Sizopoulos for any queries.

He said, however, that the six parameters, outline by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during talks in Crans Montana are well-known and must be part of the terms of reference for the resumption of settlement talks.

Concerning today’s National Council session, he said that President Anastasiades informed participants about his two meetings with Lute, which took place recently in Nicosia, and the ongoing effort to reach an agreement on the terms of reference.

The President updated the National Council also with regard to information received from the Greek Prime Minister, in relation to his contacts with Turkish President Erdogan, last Tuesday in Ankara.

Asked about the UN minutes, Prodromou said that we don’t make public what is being discussed at the National Council.

On another question, Prodromou said that the Guterres framework has never been put on paper as a document.

The effort on behalf of the President of Cyprus is, through a constructive spirit, to make use of the Guterres framework for the resumption of settlement talks, he said.

The goal is to resume negotiations from the point they were left off. And of course, the six parameters submitted by the Secretary-General should serve as a guide he said.

The Government Spokesman further pointed to the meetings Jane Holl Lute will have with the guarantor powers, noting that they are deemed necessary, since we are talking about the six parameters of the Guterres framework. We hope to see where we stand soon with more certainty, he added.

On another question, Prodromou said that the six parameters are well-known, along with the fact that the discussion to replace the outdated system of guarantees in Cyprus has been raised for the first time.

Asked whether Nicosia and Lute are on the same page regarding the Guterres framework, the Government Spokesman replied that Lute is on a mission and she is doing a job, which is ongoing. It is not useful to air occasional comments or statements.

Regarding the visit of Greek Premier Tsipras in Turkey, Prodromou said that with Athens there is close cooperation and full coordination.

As for a preparatory meeting between Turkey and Greece on the security aspects of a Cyprus settlement � a reference made by Tsipras after his meeting with Erdogan � Prodromou said that this is something to be agreed between the two governments.

What matters for Nicosia, he said, is that when negotiations resume, all issues will be open for discussion, including security.

He also noted that in Crans Montana, guarantor powers Greece, as well as Britain in a way, took a clear stance on this issue, facilitating a Cyprus settlement. It is up to Turkey to also make this move, he said and expressed hope that the preparatory meetings between the Greek and Turkish governments will help in that direction.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency