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Lute due to return to the island next month

Jane Holl Lute flanked by the two leaders earlier this year

UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute is expected to visit the island in November ahead of a trilateral meeting between UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the two leaders later in the month, reports said on Tuesday.

Lute will have meetings with President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to prepare the ground for their meeting with Guterres, expected to take place late November.

A source told the Cyprus News Agency that it appears that it is possible for the terms of reference for the resumption of talks to be recorded so this issue is closed.

“We seem to be on the path to resuming negotiations and there is already a visible path,” the same source said, noting that, apart from Lute’s efforts, the UN Secretary-General’s own contribution to the whole process is also necessary, since his envoy’s visit to the island last September did not bring the desired result, a conclusion on the terms of reference.

According to the same source, the UN Secretary-General’s meeting with Anastasiades and Akinci may be conclusive on the terms of reference, but Guterres may wait to announce the terms at the informal five-party meeting expected to take place possibly in December. The EU is expected to participate at the five-party meeting as an observer, the source said.

The Greek Cypriot side, the source said, has made it clear to the UN that the terms of reference will be agreed upon by the two sides, but it would be also be good for the guarantor powers to commit to what has been agreed by the two leaders.

This is also aimed at preventing the possibility of the Turkish side raising the issue of a solution model other than that of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation (BBF) as stipulated in the February 2014 Joint Declaration.

The source also recalled that the position of the Greek Cypriot side is that the three pillars which should constitute the terms of reference are the Joint Declaration, the convergences achieved and the Guterres Framework with its six parameters.

“As long as there is no attempt to bring up additional issues that need discussion,” the source said.

Last September, after six rounds of separate consultations with Lute and an informal joint reception, the two leaders were unable to agree on the terms of reference that would form the basis of new talks.

Though initially it was believed that progress had been achieved, it later emerged that the two leaders were unable to overcome a sticking point involving the co-governance issue.

Anastasiades said later that the terms had been agreed with the Turkish Cypriot leader during their meeting of August 9 and that Lute had prepared a short statement at their request, but that Akinci backed down, asking for the inclusion of predetermined positions.

Akinci, however, said that this was not true and the only thing they agreed on August 9 was that the procedure ought to be results-oriented and not an open-ended one.


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