The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spahar, said on Tuesday she was continuing to talk with both sides as the issue of a possible dinner between the two leaders remains up in the air.
Speaking to reporters outside the presidential palace in Nicosia after meeting for half an hour with President Nicos Anastasiades, Spehar said: “All I can say is that I continue to talk with both sides and as soon as there is more news I will definitely tell you.”
The meeting was expected to focus on setting up a social dinner between Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
According to CNA a number of contacts have been held in recent weeks, but no there have been no developments as far as such a meeting is concerned.
The leaders have not met since the Cyprus talks collapsed last July in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
Speaking after the meeting government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said the UN was continuing its efforts to arrange a social meeting between the leaders.
He said Anastasiades had reiterated to Spehar, his willingness to meet without preconditions on a social basis.
“The efforts [of the UN] are continuing. We saw in recent months that there is a willingness to start a process on Cyprus again. Our response is a given,” said Prodromou.
Anastasiades is due to be at the European Council meeting in Brussels on March 22 and 23. He is due to leave the island on Wednesday, according to the palace.
EU leaders are expected to decide this week whether Ankara meets the conditions for convening a meeting on EU-Turkey relations in the Bulgarian city of Varna on March 26 or not. In February, Anastasiades informed his EU counterparts about Turkey’s violations of the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) when it blockaded an ENI drillship.
At the time, EU Council President Donald Tusk expressed solidarity with Cyprus and called on Turkey to terminate its activities. He also reiterated EU support for the sovereign right of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural resources, in accordance with EU and international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
According to Tusk, Ankara’s actions contradicted Turkey`s commitment to good neighbourly relations and their normalisation with all member states and said the EU would assess Turkey’s behaviour at the March European Council as to whether the conditions were there to hold the Leaders` Meeting with Turkey in Varna on March 26.
Asked on Tuesday if the government would request postponement of the Varna meeting, Prodromou, who will accompany the president to Brussels, said the last meeting, after which Tusk had spoken out, had been an informal meeting of the Council. “Mr Tusk announced that a final decision on an EU-Turkey meeting in Varna would be taken officially at the European Council meeting [this week],” said the spokesman. “The president has presented our positions at the informal meeting and the message came from Mr Tusk.” Prodromou added Anastasiades would submit Cyprus’ positions again in Brussels and seek the support and solidarity “of our partners”.