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UNSG to discuss Cyprus in Turkey

File Photo: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (centre) with the two leaders

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ visit to Turkey is important since it is part of his effort to play a more active role in the process for a Cyprus settlement and in other issues which concern the UN, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters, Christodoulides said the Cyprus problem would certainly be among the issues that Guterres would discuss in Ankara, adding that the Cyprus government is in constant contact with the UN Secretariat and the UNSG himself.

“We are hopeful that his meetings (in Turkey) will produce results, which will allow us to be optimistic about the continuation of the process,” he said.

Guterres is scheduled to meet Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim at 6.30pm Cyprus time. The time for his meeting with President Tayyip Erdogan has not been announced.

Asked if he believed Turkey would be more flexible in its positions after the referendum on the constitutional amendments in April, the spokesman said some observers believed no move should be expected from Turkey before, while on the other hand, assurances were given by Turkish officials that the referendum would not influence developments on Cyprus.

Christodoulides said everything would eventually be judged at the negotiating table and not through public discourse.

The spokesman said during the meeting between the leaders on Thursday Mustafa Akinci raised the issue of the four fundamental freedoms but Nicos Anastasiades refused to discuss it.

As regards the next session of the Conference on Cyprus, he said that is has not been decided yet when it will take place, adding that it will certainly not be before March 13.

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