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‘Opportunity to reunify Cyprus finally before us’ (updated)

File photo: The two leaders in New York with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

“The opportunity for the reunification of Cyprus is now finally before us,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday, before the resumed Conference on Cyprus begins on Wednesday.

In a written statement Guterres said he was “encouraged by the reconvening of the Conference” and “welcomed the determination shown by all participants in taking this important step.

“I call on all concerned players to seize this opportunity, for Cyprus first and foremost, but also for the wider Eastern Mediterranean region,” he added

As Secretary-General of the United Nations, the statement added, “I reiterate my steadfast commitment to supporting this effort”.

“I urge all participants to demonstrate the will and leadership required to conclude a comprehensive settlement,” Guterres said.

Although initially reported that Guterres was scheduled to arrive at Crans-Montana on Friday, his presence has not yet been confirmed as it will “depend on developments”.

The international Conference on Cyprus will resume on Wednesday morning with a session on security and guarantees and no parallel discussion of other chapters of the Cyprus problem, sources cited by the Cyprus News Agency said on Tuesday.

The kick-off meeting will take place in the presence of the two leaders President Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci, United Nations Undersecretary-General for political affairs Jeffrey Feltman, UN special adviser Espen Barth Eide, the foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom, Nicos Kotzias, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Boris Johnson, and EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini.

According to CNA sources in the afternoon session a parallel discussion on other issues will begin, starting with territory.

Earlier, a working dinner will be hosted by the UN for participants on Tuesday night.

Before the dinner, Anastasiades had a one-on-one meeting with Eide, followed by another one with Kotzias.

After the dinner, Anastasiades will have a tete-a-tete with Johnson.

According to the CNA’s sources, no departure date has been set for the foreign ministers of the three guarantor powers participating in the Conference.

The Greek Cypriot delegation arrived mid-day to Geneva, from where a military helicopter, provided by the Swiss government, flew Eide and Anastasiades, along with some of the president’s advisers, to Crans-Montana.

Akinci and Cavusoglu arrived in Geneva at 7.30pm Cyprus time and were too flown to the resort by helicopter. Upon his arrival in Geneva, Cavusoglu tweeted that the goal was “to find a comprehensive solution”.

Anastasiades and Akinci were taking part with a six-member delegation each. The foreign ministers of the three guarantor powers have a four-member delegation each.

CNA sources have said that the foundation of Wednesday’s discussion on the issue of security and guarantees will be the conclusions of the technocrats at Mont Pelerin 3 in January, when the issue was examined by the technical committees of the five interested parties.

According to reports, the National Council will convene at 8.45am local time on Wednesday morning, ahead of the Cyprus conference, which is to begin at 11am.

Anastasiades is accompanied by Attorney General Costas Clerides, chief negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, Government Spokesman and Director of his Diplomatic Office Nikos Christodoulides, Undersecretary to the President Vasilis Palmas, Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos and other officials. The 80-strong Greek Cypriot delegation also consists of members of the negotiating team and political party leaders and their representatives.

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