President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday discussed developments on the Cyprus problem and the latest UN reports on Unficyp and the Good Offices mission in Cyprus with the UN’s special representative Elizabeth Spehar.

Anastasiades received Spehar at the Presidential Palace as part of the latter’s customary meetings with the two community leaders ahead of her briefing to the Security Council before it votes on the renewal of the Unficyp mandate for another six months.

Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides was present at the 45-minute meeting.

According to deputy government spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas, they discussed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ decision to convene an informal five-party conference on the Cyprus issue.

Spehar briefed Anastasiades but also listened to his positions on the latest UN reports, on the renewal of the Unficyp mandate and the UN Secretary-General’s report on the Good Office mission in Cyprus, Sentonas said.

Spehar, who is to brief the UN Security Council on January 19, later had a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

Anastasiades and Tatar had separate meetings on Monday with the UN secretary-general’s special envoy, Jane Holl Lute, laying the groundwork for the possible informal five-party meeting which is expected to take place in February in New York.

Anastasiades is to brief party leaders on Thursday morning on his meeting with Lute.

In the meantime, Christodoulides has been holding contacts with counterparts of his and EU officials on the Cyprus problem.

On Wednesday, Christodoulides had a telephone conversation with his UK counterpart Dominic Raab during which they exchanged views on the way ahead concerning the ongoing efforts by the UNSG for the resumption of the talks. They also discussed issues concerning Unficyp, post Brexit cooperation and issues concerning bilateral relations. The UK is one of the Republic of Cyprus’ three guarantors along with Greece and Turkey that are to also participate at the five-party summit.

Christodoulides also held a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The two ministers discussed the developments on the Cyprus problem and issues concerning Unficyp.

With the upcoming Security Council vote on the renewal of the Unficyp mandate, Nicosia wants to make sure there will be no surprises since some members had expressed reservations in the past on whether the peacekeeping mission’s mandate ought to be renewed.

In his latest reports, Guterres recommends that the Security Council extends its mandate for six months, until 31 July 2021, in light of the force’s continued contribution to peace and stability and the creation of conditions conducive to a political settlement.

Last Sunday, Christodoulides also had a telephone chat with EU High Representative Josep Borrell on the current situation in eastern Mediterranean, the efforts aimed at the resumption of the Cyprus problem talks and EU-Turkey relations.