By Jean Christou
President Nicos Anastasiades, will be contacting UN envoy Jane Holl Lute by Tuesday at the latest, he said on Monday, expressing the hope she would visit the island within the next ten days.
Speaking after an event in Nicosia to mark the 64th anniversary of the Eoka struggle against British colonial rule, Anastasiades was asked when Lute might come back to Cyprus.
He said he had a telephone conversation with Lute recently and would contact her again. “I will contact again today or tomorrow for some final adjustments that are needed,” he said.
Lute is attempting to help the two Cypriot leaders draw up terms of reference for the resumption of Cyprus negotiations but has been unsuccessful so far, even though she has also met with the guarantor powers Greece and Turkey as well as Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
Asked about Lute’s contacts with the guarantor powers and the possibility of her presenting any sort of blueprint, Anastasiades said he did not have any information that she intended to present anything to the two sides in Cyprus.
Lute will meet again with Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos on Friday in the US.
He told reporters in New York at the weekend that it was up to Lute when she would next visit the region.
“We remain firm in the need to have a resolution to the Cyprus problem that will be based on UN decisions and international law,” said Katrougalos. He said that Greece and Turkey have agreed that they would have an exchange of views on the international aspects of the Cyprus issue in Athens on April 12 and hoped this could lead to results that could spark a new round of talks.
Anastasiades also responded on Monday to a question about the appointment of the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis as Cyprus permanent representative to the UN in New York. Anastasiades said the former was an experienced diplomat who had served in the same position in the past and had extensive contacts within the UN.
“Maybe his presence there at this time is required more than ever, without him ceasing to be the negotiator,” he said. “Possibly his presence there during this period will prove to be something positive.”
Asked about the Turkish elections on Sunday, and whether they might impact the Cyprus issue, Anastasiades said: “After each election period there is a rearrangement of thoughts and reflection,” he said, adding that he hoped this would lead to the avoidance of a rhetoric “which in essence constituted a threat for the whole region.”
Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Sunday that developments on the Cyprus talks were expected soon. He referred to “specific steps” on the terms of reference that would lead to a new round of talks.