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Leaders prepare for meetings with UN envoy (Updated)

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

The UN chief’s envoy Jane Holl Lute was due on the island on Saturday ahead of her separate meetings with the two leaders on Sunday.

President Nicos Anastasiades is set to meet with Lute at 11am at the presidential palace. Lute will then meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in the afternoon.

The possibility that Lute will also hold follow-up meetings with the leaders prior to her departure on Monday has not been ruled out.

Prior to her meeting with Anastasiades on Sunday, Lute is expected to convene with the UN special representative Elizabeth Spehar and the UN mission in Cyprus dealing with the Cyprus problem.

The outcome of efforts towards a solution depends on what Lute has heard or will hear from Turkey, a government source told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) on Saturday.

Anastasiades’ meeting with Lute is also expected to reveal where all sides stand and whether the two sides are truly able to move forward, the same source added.

During their informal meeting on August 9, the two leaders agreed to continue working with UN envoy Lute on the terms of reference that would kick-start a new round of negotiations.

The leaders had also agreed to hold a tripartite meeting with the UN secretary-general in September to plan a way forward to resume talks.

The government source noted that Turkey’s actions in the Cyprus EEZ and the moves in Varosha by the Turkish Cypriot administration threaten any possibility of the talks resuming.

These actions may also lead to a cancellation of the tripartite meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the source said.

If the meeting goes ahead as planned, it is expected to take place on September 27 in New York, following the general assembly of the UN.

On Thursday, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said that reaching an agreement on the terms of reference hinges on whether Turkey takes a positive approach to the matter.

“This implies that it will stop causing tension through illegal activities,” Prodromou said, referring to Turkey’s drilling activities in the sea off Paphos and Karpasia.

 

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