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Lute due in Cyprus ahead of Geneva talks

File photo Jane Holl Lute

UN envoy Jane Holl Lute will be in Cyprus on April 11 for contacts ahead of the conference on Cyprus in Geneva on April 27-29, Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides announced on Thursday.

“Mrs Lute will meet with the President of the Republic as part of the preparations for the conference, the main goal of which is to create the conditions for the resumption of substantive talks from where they left off in Crans-Montana,” Christodoulides said during an event in Aradippou to mark the 66th anniversary of the April 1 Eoka uprising.

Also, on Friday, President Nicos Anastasiades will have a teleconference call with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council Charles Michel, also related to the Geneva talks.

On the talks, and the Turkish side’s position that they be based on seeking a two-state solution, Christodoulides said: “This Turkish position cannot even be discussed.”

“There is no question of changing the basis for a solution to the Cyprus problem,” he said. “It is particularly important that this position reflects the approach of the UN Security Council, clearly reflects the position of the European Union and countries that have a special interest in the developments in the Cyprus issue “.

At the same time, he added, “in view of the informal conference, our effort is to create the right environment, so that the prospects are strengthened and a positive result emerges from the Geneva meeting.”

Asked whether there was a formal invitation from the UN to the EU to participate in the informal conference Christodoulides said:  “We do not know if there is a relevant invitation from the UN. What we know is that in recent days the European Union at the highest level has expressed its desire to be present in the negotiations.”

“On the one hand, Turkey cannot ask for the strengthening of Euro-Turkish relations, ask for a positive agenda with the European Union and at the same time deny the EU participation in the talks for the settlement of the Cyprus problem.”

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