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Wednesday ‘the most defining day’ in Geneva

File Photo: The two leaders with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Geneva in April

By Evie Andreou in Geneva

Today is expected to be the most defining day at the informal summit, sources in Geneva said on Wednesday.

According to diplomatic sources, the meetings but also behind-the-scenes consultations are expected to reveal if there is possibility of finding any common ground between the two sides, which is the goal of the Geneva meeting.

The plenary session in which the two leaders and the foreign ministers of guarantors Greece, Turkey and UK stated their positions ended at around 1.50pm Cyprus time.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is scheduled to hold separate meetings in the afternoon with all five parties and later host a dinner, which, according to diplomatic sources will be “Crans-Montana style”, meaning important aspects will be discussed on the way forward.

Depending on the outcome, it is expected that meetings might follow well into the night possibly by special envoy Jane Holl Lute with the negotiators and representatives of the foreign ministries of the three guarantors, or even by Guterres with the two leaders and the foreign ministers, sources said.

Responding to talk about what happens in the case of an impasse, diplomatic sources said that Guterres will submit his report to the Security Council with his conclusions and will be waiting for guidance by them. Sources said this is standard procedure followed after all such summits, regardless of the results and that the UN secretary-general cannot decide on his own if his mandate will change and pursue a different form of solution.

Guterres, the same sources said, told Anastasiades he was committed to this process and he wanted a result. He said if there is no result, they would have to see what the next steps are.

He also told Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar during their meeting on Tuesday that a two-state solution was outside the UN framework and he believes that most Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots want a bizonal bicommunal federation, sources said.

According to diplomatic sources, during his meeting with Guterres on Tuesday, President Nicos Anastasiades suggested that, if a continuation of the process is agreed, he is willing to participate in another summit such as a tripartite meeting in New York with Tatar. The president said such meetings were useful and was willing to participate in one if Guterres deems it necessary.

He stressed, however, that they should not wait until after June’s European Council where the EU leaders will assess Turkey’s conduct. Anastasiades argued that this was important so that he would be able to have a positive stance at the council to Turkey’s demands, sources said.


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