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UN ‘frustrated’ over Turkey’s reluctance to confirm Lute envoy to Cyprus

Jane Holl Lute

Ankara’s reluctance to give the green light for the arrival of Jane Holl Lute in Cyprus, as the Secretary-General’s personal envoy to probe the potential resumption of settlement talks, is causing frustration at the United Nations, CNA has learnt.

According to a well-informed source, Greece and Great Britain already gave their go-ahead for the mission, as Lute is expected to hold contacts with the two communities and the three guarantor powers.

The same source said that Ankara was not willing to make such a move before the June 24 early elections in the country. However, time is of the essence as the international organisation prepares the UN Secretary-General’s report on UNFICYP, the peacekeeping force in Cyprus, with a deadline on June 15, the source said.

CNA also learned that Ankara was running into obstacles in its effort to drill am offshore well in the Eastern Mediterranean. “They have the drill ship, they have the people, however they can’t find companies to cooperate” with them, the same source said, referring to companies which provide services during similar operations.

Ankara disputes the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural resources in its exclusive economic zone and even blocked a scheduled drilling activity by Italy’s ENI last February.

Turkey’s Energy Minister Berat Albayrak said recently that Ankara would proceed with its first drilling in the Mediterranean this summer.

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