The new special representative of the UN secretary-general, Colin Stewart is to hold separate meetings on Friday with the two community leaders.

Both sides confirmed on Wednesday that President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar are to have a first meeting with Stewart, who assumed his duties earlier in the month.

Stewart will meet the two leaders separately in their offices.

According to government spokesman Marios Pelekanos, Stewart is expected at the Presidential Place to meet Anastasiades at 9am on Friday. Tatar’s office too announced that the Turkish Cypriot leader would receive Stewart on the same day. Reports said the meeting will take place at 1pm.

Both sides also said they responded positively to the possibility of a UN reception at the Ledra Palace next Tuesday evening on the occasion of Stewart’s arrival to the island.

“We confirm that we responded positively to the enquiry by the United Nations for this reception, in which we are ready to participate,” Pelekanos told the Cyprus News Agency.

This is a first meeting, he said, during which Anastasiades is expected to inform the UN official about the positions of the Greek Cypriot side regarding the resumption of the negotiation process for the settlement of the Cyprus issue.

Tatar’s office said the invitation concerned the UN’s customary end-of-year reception, to be hosted by Stewart. Tatar said he would attend if epidemiological data allowed for the event to take place.

The UN official, who replaced his predecessor Elizabeth Spehar, has also assumed his duties as head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (Unficyp).

On Wednesday morning, Stewart visited the buffer zone as part of his familiarisation with the area, UN Cyprus said in a tweet. Stewart was accompanied by Unficyp’s force commander, Ingrid Gjerde and Unpol senior police advisor, Satu Koivu. He also met peacekeepers in the area.