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Anastasiades proposes shuttle diplomacy to gauge intentions

File photo: Antonio Guterres, Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci at Crans Montana (CNA)

President Nicos Anastasiades suggested to the UN Secretary-General to engage in shuttle diplomacy in a bid to determine whether the necessary conditions existed for the resumption of reunification talks.

The proposal was made during a meeting between Anastasiades and Antonio Guterres on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September.

Speaking to EU ambassadors during a lunch hosted by the ambassador of Estonia whose country is taking over the EU presidency, Anastasiades said the Greek Cypriot side was determined to restart the talks from where they ended in Switzerland last summer.

“The end of the conference is not the end of the process for us,” he said.

The latest round of reunification talks at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana took place between June 28 and July 6 but again ended in deadlock over disagreements on security and guarantees.

Both sides have since blamed each other for the collapse.

Anastasiades said to avoid past mistakes there must be thorough preparation before convening the conference on Cyprus, to enable the sides to submit their proposals in writing, even with reservations, to ensure the successful conclusion of the process.

“The suggestion I made to the UNSG is engaging in shuttle diplomacy, either by the UN or through prominent personalities, or even third countries that are acceptable to all sides as impartial, such as the members of the Security Council,” the president said.

He added that such a process would allow the UNSG to gauge the sides’ intentions and decide whether the necessary conditions existed to reconvene the conference on Cyprus.

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