UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has invited the two leaders to New York for a meeting. He spoke to them both on the phone and the meeting was fixed as a working dinner set for Sunday, June 4, it emerged late on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day UNSG Special Advisor for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said Turkey is ready to go to Geneva for a Conference on Cyprus without any preconditions and is also ready to discuss security issues.
Eide, who held a meeting on Wednesday in Ankara with Ibrahim Kalin, Spokesman of the Turkish Presidency, told the Cyprus News Agency that the meeting has been constructive, and expressed confidence that Turkey and Greece were ready to discuss the security issues, relating to the Cyprus question.
The UN official, who said he also held meetings at the Prime Minister’s office, told CNA the clear message from everyone was that Turkey was ready to go to Geneva without any preconditions and was also ready to discuss the security issues.
Asked whether he believed that Turkey was ready to shift its position on the security issue, he replied: “What I can see is that there is a will to have a discussion on that issue.”
Referring to a second Conference on Cyprus in Geneva, Eide said he shared ‘some ideas on how this could happen’ adding that ‘it is the core problem’.
“We did not bridge the gap on how we can organise Geneva. I don’t think the problem is here, both guarantor powers are ready,” he said.
Asked whether it is possible to find a way to organise the Geneva Conference, he said: “Absolutely, it’s possible to find a way.”
Eide was due to leave Ankara later on Wednesday but has no plans to return to Cyprus for now.
Earlier, in an interview with Turkey’s Anadolu news agency, Eide said it was not over for the talks but it would take time to get out of the current deadlock.
“It will take some time to get out of this deadlock. It is a deadlock. It is not over. Talks are not collapsed. We are in a dead end in a sense and to get out of that we need to do some more diplomatic work,” Eide said. No new meetings have been scheduled between the two sides, despite Eide’s efforts to break the stalemate.
Eide emphasised the aspirations of ordinary Greek and Turkish Cypriots who wanted the island reunified.
“If that is the case, we must make it work. But that requires some will, some flexibility and some leadership from all sides,” the UN envoy said. “First and foremost, from the leaders in Cyprus, but then also from the guarantor partners.”
“The problem is that wanting a solution does not mean you want the same solution,” he said, adding: “I always try to find agreement between the sides.”
The Norwegian diplomat also said he agreed with the Turkish Cypriot view to handle issues interdependently.
“The Turkish Cypriot view supported by Turkey is that we should discuss everything but together on an interdependent manner, which are also the established parameters from before, in these talks.
“I do think that is important that we see that all these issues are interrelated. In that sense, I agree with the Turkish Cypriot view that they are interdependent,” he said.
Last week, Anastasiades said Akinci, citing the lack of progress in the talks, had proposed a new conference in Geneva where the two sides would each present their main goals in an attempt to make progress through a ‘give and take’ procedure.
At the same time, the president said, Akinci had demanded that the Republic halt its energy plans. Drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ is slated for July.
Anastasiades proposed to first discuss and conclude the chapter of security and guarantees; second, if and when discussion of the chapter was concluded, “to proceed immediately to the discussion and resolution of the territory issue.” Third, the leaders would stay in Geneva for as long it took, “in order to achieve substantive progress, and even the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem as well.”
Akinci rejected this as setting preconditions.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was due to arrive in the north on Wednesday night for meetings on Thursday.