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Cyprus Talks

Gas-sharing proposal by Akinci muddies waters vis-à-vis Lute visit

File photo: UNSG special envoy on Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute (Christos Theodorides)

Deliberations are underway at the highest level regarding the upcoming visit by the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy Jane Holl Lute after a new situation was created by the formal proposal submitted by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for cooperation on natural gas exploitation.

Citing a government source, CNA reported on Saturday that in view of Lute’s visit, which is scheduled for the end of July or early August, Akinci’s call for a tete-a-tete with President Nicos Anastasiades for the evaluation of the proposal has unsettled government plans and “left everything up in the air.”

Nicosia’s position is adamant that Lute’s visit is of higher importance, the government source said, but Akinci’s request for a meeting with Anastasiades over cooperation on natural gas appears to have muddied the waters.

“We had an order of things… but now this has been unsettled,” the source said.

Akinci’s proposal involves the establishment of a joint committee under the supervision of the UN and which will be formed with the participation of the same number of members from both sides, the report said.

It outlines the structure, targets and methodology of the committee also includes the establishment of a fund and details on how this fund will be used.

Akinci also sent the proposal to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the EU Commission and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

On Friday, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said that during a telephone conversation held that afternoon between Anastasiades and Lute, the desire for a new meeting with Lute and for a return to the negotiations table was restated by the president.

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