Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok on Thursday expressed the hope that UN Secretary-General’s temporary envoy Jane Holl Lute’s consultations will lead to the resumption of Cyprus talks and said he was convinced that with the right political will and flexibility among all involved parties a settlement could be reached.
Blok who was on the island was speaking during a joint press conference with his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Christodoulides at the foreign ministry.
Blok, also visited the Anthropological Laboratory of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) to whom he donated €50,000 on behalf of his government.
He said the donation brings the Netherlands’ financial assistance to CMP to a total of €672,000 over the past 12 years. The Netherlands is the CMP’s fourth largest donor country.
The Dutch FM also had a meeting with UN Special Representatives Elizabeth Spehar and was received by President Nicos Anastasiades before having consultations with Christodoulides at the ministry.
Referring to his visit at the CMP he said that he pledged “an extra €50,000 to enable more DNA analysis, which brings our total contribution to €672,000 since 2006.”
Blok added that Spehar had informed him on the challenges Unficyp faces and to listen to her perspective on the Cyprus issue. “Very useful in view of our membership of the UN Security Council,” he said.
“The Cyprus issue was also discussed during my meeting with President Anastasiades,” Blok added. He said the negotiations last year had achieved important results “and I sincerely hope that the temporary UN envoy, Ms Jane Holl Lute, will conclude her round of consultations with the prospect of resuming negotiations with the goal of reaching a sustainable settlement.”
“This would be of interest to all of us in the EU and I am convinced that with the right political will and flexibility among all involved parties a settlement can be reached,” he stressed.
Christodoulides said he shared with Blok the government’s desire for negotiations to resume soon, from the point where they were suspended in Crans- Montana.
The two foreign ministers also discussed Brexit, developments in the region, Cyprus’ hydrocarbons plans and bilateral relations.
“As the Netherlands is also actively involved in the efforts to facilitate and strengthen the prospect of peace and stability in the Middle East, we have agreed to explore potential cooperation and joint action in this area,” Christodoulides said, adding that they had also discussed migration.
“I conveyed our deep concern about the latest surge in numbers of migrants and asylum seekers arriving in Cyprus,” Christodoulides said. “We are in agreement with our Dutch counterparts that responsibility needs to be shared in the context of the Dublin regulation through a binding relocation mechanism which takes into consideration the integration capacities of each member state,” he added.