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UN chief willing to push ahead on Cyprus, foreign minister says

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides in Geneva on Monday

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his readiness to resume efforts on the Cyprus problem right after the elections in the north, Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said on Monday after a meeting with the UN chief in Switzerland.

Both men are in Geneva for the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council that started on Monday.

During their meeting they discussed Turkey’s activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and Turkey’s recent threats to open up the fenced-off area of Varosha.

Christodoulides said that Guterres expressed his willingness and commitment for the procedure to resume right after the elections in the north at the end of April.

He added that Guterres had expressed his satisfaction at the results of his meeting last November with the two leaders in Berlin.

“It is clear that from the discussion (with Guterres), that the procedure must take place in a favourable environment that will enhance the effort so that it can lead to a positive outcome that will be nothing more than a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of relevant UN resolutions,” Christodoulides said.

The Berlin trilateral meeting ended with a promise by Guterres to continue efforts towards an agreement on the terms of reference so that proper negotiations can resume. He committed to explore with the two leaders and the guarantor powers the possibility of convening an informal five-plus-UN meeting at an appropriate stage.

Christodoulides said they discussed the memorandums of understanding Turkey signed with Libya but also the refugee issue and the serious challenges faced by the Republic of Cyprus.

The minister is expected to address the council’s session on Tuesday at 12pm Cyprus time.

He will also meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday as part of the event.

During his stay in Geneva, Christodoulides will also meet with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, director-general of the UN office in Geneva and secretary-general of the Conference on Disarmament Tatiana Valovaya, director-general of the International Organisation for Migration António Vitorino, secretary-general of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation Yousef Al Othaimeen, and head of the Red Cross Peter Maurer.



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