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Lute holding separate meetings with the leaders (updated)

Lute meeting Akinci on Saturday

UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute is on the island for separate meetings on Saturday with the two leaders ahead of their meeting later this month with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Berlin.

Lute arrived on the island on Friday. She met Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci at 11am and at 7pm will meet President Nicos Anastasiades.

The meeting with Akinci lasted around an hour and a half but no statements were made.

On Friday Lute had a meeting with the UNSG’s Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar.

The two leaders are to meet Guterres in Berlin on November 25 in a bid for progress on the terms of reference for the resumption of talks, which is expected to pave the way for an informal five-party meeting with the participation of the guarantor powers Greece, Turkey and the UK.

Government sources however, have recently been quoted as saying Nicosia does not expect much progress at the trilateral due to Turkey’s reluctance to see developments on the Cyprus problem until after the elections in the north, expected to take place next April.

Anastasiades too, said he did not expect anything to come out of the Berlin meeting based on Turkey’s demands and stance.

In the meantime, Turkish vice president Fuat Oktay, who was on the island for celebrations in the north to mark the 36th anniversary since the unilateral declaration of independence by the Turkish Cypriots, said that his country would continue its seismic and research activities off Cyprus.

According to media reports in the north, Oktay said that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots seized every opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus problem but that the Greek Cypriot side averted every chance there was because it is spoiled because of its capacity as an EU member-state.

He also said that Turkey will not be fazed by threats by the international community over its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and that she would let no one violate the Turkish Cypriots’ rights.

Guterres, in his latest report on his Good Offices Mission in Cyprus, the draft of which was circulated to the UN Security Council on Thursday night, said he finds the prospects for a resumption of negotiations uncertain and expressed “growing concern” over developments around the issue of hydrocarbons.

He said however that he continues to hope that a lasting settlement can be achieved.


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