The Cyprus government welcomed the readiness of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to provide his Good Offices mission for the resumption of talks for the solution of the Cyprus problem, government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos said on Thursday.
According to Koushos, Guterres, in his reply to a letter sent to him by President Nicos Anastasiades some two weeks ago, expressed “his readiness to provide his Good Offices for the resumption of talks for a solution of the Cyprus problem, on the basis of all that has been agreed upon, the mutual understanding achieved in Berlin on November 25, 2019, and according to the Security Council resolutions.”
Guterres reiterated the availability of his Good Offices for the resumption of talks, to build on the existing body of work.
He also acknowledged that Anastasiades contacted newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar for an informal meeting under the auspices of his deputy special adviser, Elizabeth Spehar.
The two leaders have agreed to meet on Tuesday evening in the Chief of Mission’s residence in the United Nations Protected Area in Nicosia.
The UN chief expressed hope that this first informal contact would pave the way for fruitful discussions and reiterated his commitment to explore with the two leaders as well as with the guarantor powers, Greece, Turkey and the UK, the possibility of launching an informal five-party plus UN summit at an appropriate stage.
He also called for the termination of unilateral actions that could undermine the future success of new negotiations and for the promotion of confidence-building measures (CBMs).
“The government welcomes the readiness of the Secretary-General to provides his Good Offices for the resumption of the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem […] to the benefit of all Cypriots and peace in the region,” Koushos said in a written statement.
He also pointed out that Anastasiades has already submitted 21 proposals for specific CBMs with priority given to Famagusta.
The meeting between the two leaders will take place following the opening to visitors some three weeks ago of part of the fenced area of Varosha and announcements that works would be carried out there ahead of the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is expected in the north on November 15. Erdogan has threatened to “have a picnic” in Varosha.
Guterres also sent a letter to former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci thanking him for his constructive cooperation and sincerity during the entire peace process, but especially at the trilateral meeting held with Anastasiades, in Berlin last year.
Guterres said that though there were still challenges on the way to a comprehensive settlement, he appreciated the unprecedented progress achieved during Akinci’s term as leader of the Turkish Cypriot community.
In the meantime, ruling Disy announced its leader Averof Neophytou continues meetings with lawyers, politicians, civil society and political scientists on developments in Varosha and what lies ahead after the election of Tatar who echoes Ankara’s position on the Cyprus problem for a two-state solution instead of a bizonal, bicommunal federation which was what the two communities had agreed on.
After such a meeting on Thursday the party stressed the importance of being prepared ahead of developments. “For that reason, we will remain focused on our goal; the liberation and reunification of our country,” the party said.