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UN’s Lute to visit leaders next week

UN envoy Jane Holl Lute

The UN secretary-general’s envoy, Jane Holl Lute, is to meet with the island’s two leaders on October 31, it was announced on Wednesday.

A UN source confirmed reports in the north that Lute would arrive in Cyprus next Wednesday and is to meet with President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on the same day, according to the Cyprus News Agency.

Lute will be on the island on the request of the UNSG, Antonio Guterres, to carry out another fact-finding mission, before formal negotiations are launched, on the willingness of the two sides to propose new ideas as part of an overall solution.

Guterres had said in his latest report on his good offices mission, delivered to the UN Security Council last week, that, prior to resuming full-fledged negotiations, “the sides should agree on terms of reference that would constitute the consensus starting point for a possible negotiated conclusion to the Cyprus issue.”

This will be the second meeting of Lute with the two leaders. She also had meetings with the foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey and the UK that are Cyprus’ guarantor powers, and held contacts in Brussels. She then submitted her report to Guterres.

The UN envoy in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar, will host an informal meeting of the two leaders in the buffer zone on Friday morning. Anastasiades and Akinci met last April at an informal dinner also hosted by Spehar, their first meeting since the collapse of the talks in Switzerland in July 2017.

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