We expect to see progress during Lute’s visit to Cyprus, Spokesman tells CNA

The Greek Cypriot side expects to see progress with regard to an agreement on the terms of reference, during the visit of Jane Holl Lute, the UN Secretary-General’s envoy, who arrives Saturday in Cyprus and is scheduled to have separate meetings with the island’s leaders on Sunday.

Speaking to CNA, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou conveyed the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to reach an agreement on the terms of reference, paving the way for the resumption of settlement talks.

We expect the discussion to continue. We look forward to this meeting, with the aim of making progress and, if possible, agreeing on the terms of reference. We are ready Prodromou said.

The Government Spokesman also expressed hope that the views of the Turkish side, reflected recently in an announcement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, will not be repeated in front of Lute.

Last Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued an announcement criticising the UN Security Council’s decision to renew the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for another six months, saying that it was not consistent with the latest reports of the Secretary-General and that it prejudged the result of Lute’s contacts in Cyprus. Ankara also said that it maintained the position that other alternative solutions of the Cyprus problem were on the table, without excluding the federal option.

Lute is expected to arrive on Saturday in Cyprus and on Sunday morning she will meet with Elizabeth Spehar, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, to get an update on developments since her last visit to Cyprus, in December. She will later meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, at 11.00am local time (9.00am GMT). Her meeting with President Anastasiades is scheduled for 18.30 (16.30 GMT) at the Presidential Palace.

As CNA learns, Lute is expected to depart for New York on Tuesday and a second round of contacts with the leaders should not be ruled out, depending on the outcome of tomorrow’s meetings. Akinci has already said that it is possible to have a second meeting with Lute on Monday.

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