Cyprus President to contact Lute ahead of the UN envoy’s return to the island

The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said on Monday that he will speak with Jane Holl Lute, either today or tomorrow, ahead of the anticipated return of the UN envoy to the island, in an effort to reach an agreement on the terms of reference that will pave the way for the resumption of Cyprus talks.

Replying to questions after a religious service in Nicosia, commemorating the start of the 1955-59 anticolonial struggle in Cyprus, President Anastasiades said that he contacted Lute a few days ago and will contact her again today or tomorrow for the final arrangements.

Asked if Lute will be back to Cyprus in the next 10 days, the President replied I hope so, yes. Moreover, President Anastasiades was asked about the possibility of Lute presenting a blueprint regarding the terms of reference, following her contacts with the guarantor powers. He replied that he cannot know about this, he said however that Lute did not give any indication that she intended to present anything to the parties in Cyprus.

Asked about the appointment of current Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis as the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus to the UN and whether this impacts on the preparations of the Greek Cypriot side for the resumption of Cyprus talks, the President replied not at all adding that there has been a similar decision in the past.

According to the President Mavroyiannis is an experienced diplomat, he served in the past in the UN, he has very close ties and maybe his presence there at this time is required more than ever, without him ceasing to be the negotiator.

The President expressed moreover hope that a new round of discussions will begin, noting that Mavroyiannis will be present in the talks, in such an event.

President Anastasiades was also called to evaluate the impact of Turkish local elections on Ankara’s policy, also with regards to Cyprus. He expressed hope that results will lead to the avoidance of a rhetoric which in essence constituted a threat for the whole region.

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