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UN envoy Lute expected in Cyprus soon – reports

Jane Holl Lute (file photo)

UN Secretary-general envoy Jane Holl Lute is expected to return to the island within the next couple of weeks for exploratory contacts on the Cyprus problem, it was reported on Sunday.

According to state broadcaster CyBC, UN Secretary-general Antonio Guterres has asked Lute to launch contacts with all stakeholders to see if there are prospects for convening an informal five-party meeting on the Cyprus issue.

She is expected to arrive in Cyprus within the next 15 days, CyBC reported, citing diplomatic sources.

Lute was tasked last year by the UNSG to hold contacts with the two leaders and the guarantors to help the sides reach an agreement on the terms of reference for a new round of Cyprus talks, but that effort ended without the announcement of any results.

Both President Nicos Anastasiades and newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said they were willing to participate in an informal five-party summit after their first meeting earlier this week. Though agreeing that the two sides and the three guarantor powers – Greece, Turkey, and the UK – ought to meet to discuss the way forward, Anastasiades said he wants to discuss  a solution based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation (BBF) and Tatar calls for other ideas, such as a two-state solution.

After last Tuesday’s meeting that took place under the auspices of the Special Representative of the UNSG in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar the UN said the two leaders “expressed their determination to positively respond to the UN Secretary-General’s commitment to explore the possibility to convene an informal five-plus-UN meeting, in a conducive climate, at an appropriate stage.”

Reports, however, said that Guterres will not rush to launch any new procedure if he is not convinced it would not lead to another impasse.

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