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Government wants UN to pressure Turkish Cypriot side into joint meeting of leaders (updated)

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

The government on Tuesday expressed hope that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will exert pressure on the Turkish Cypriot side for a joint meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades in New York.

Government spokesman Marios Pelekanos told the Cyprus News Agency that after the letter the president sent Guterres on August 30, pressure would be exerted on the Turkish Cypriot side to agree to a joint meeting of the two leaders with the UN chief.

Both Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar are to have separate meetings with Guterres on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this month in New York. Phileleftheros, citing sources, reported that Anastasiades also requested a meeting with US President Joe Biden and Nicosia is waiting for a response.

Another expected development is the announcement possibly later this month of who will succeed UN Special Representative of the secretary-general in Cyprus and head of Unficyp Elizabeth Spehar. Reports said Australian national Melissa Parke would be her successor.

The president told Omega TV in an interview aired on Monday evening that UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute’s new mission, which would pave the way for a joint meeting in New York, was quashed by Turkish Cypriot negotiator Elgun Olgun’s refusal to consult with Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, insisting that there was no grounds for dialogue.

Anastasiades also said he would brief Guterres on his proposal on the return to the 1960 constitution, which he said was of essence. He said he told Guterres in his latest letter that he insists on what has been agreed so far on the Cyprus problem but that it was not possible to go into detail about his thoughts on the return to the 1960 constitution in writing. The president explained it was not a call to return to that state of affairs to create a unitary state, since “a historical need dictated the evolution of the Republic of Cyprus.”

“However, we have avoided the evolution with the proposals submitted by the Turkish Cypriots,” he added. The proposal was a call to the Turkish Cypriot side to assume the positions it is entitled to based on the 1960 constitution so that a dialogue can start on territorial adjustments and other issues, he said.

Anastasiades also said one ought to table new proposals from time to time and that he formulated this proposal after giving it a lot of thought but also given the developments and the refusal by Tatar and Turkey to repeat the dialogue unless the sovereign equality of the Turkish Cypriots was recognised.

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