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UN efforts to bring GC and TC leaders face-to-face are failing (Updated)

Christodoulides, Colin Stewart, Unficyp, presidental palace
President Nikos Christodoulides with the head of Unficyp Colin Stewart (File photo)

President Nikos Christodoulides claimed on Wednesday he has suggested either an unofficial social get together or an official meeting to restart Cyprus talks with the Turkish Cypriot leader, following a report that efforts by the UN special representative Colin Stewart have failed.

“I have publicly and repeatedly expressed my readiness to meet with Mr [Ersin] Tatar. I have expressed wish to him for either a social meeting or in the framework of attempting to restart talks,” Christodoulides said, speaking at a meeting of the Paphos Chamber of Commerce.

Christodoulides added that he has also requested that both leaders visit the anthropological centre of the committee on missing persons (CMP) together.

“From my part, I am ready to even have such a meeting even tomorrow,” he said.

Earlier reports said attempts by UN special representative Colin Stewart to bring Christodoulides and Tatar to a face-to-face meeting have so far failed.

Sources told CNA that the reason for the failure is the less-than-positive response on part of the Turkish leader.

They state that one of Stewart’s last-ditch efforts is to bring the two leaders together in the context a CMP meeting.

Christodoulides and Tatar had one informal meeting in the presence of Stewart at the end of February, before the former officially assumed his duties as president. During this Christodoulides had extended an invitation to Tatar for a further meeting, however, it was not taken up.

In the meantime, Stewart is expected to have separate meetings with the two leaders before going to New York in July, where he will brief the UN security council on the situation.

At the beginning of July, draft reports by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the mission of his good offices in Cyprus, and the peacekeeping force (Unficyp), will be communicated to the security council.

A discussion has yet to be held to determine the report’s final form to be approved and made public. Based on a resolution adopted in January, the force’s mandate is now renewed annually and set to expire on January 31, 2024.

According to the procedure to be followed, each side will submit its positions to the UN with documents that will be attached to the secretary-general’s reports.

Greek Cypriot negotiator, Menelaos Menelaou and the Turkish leader’s special representative, Ergun Olgun, meanwhile, continue to hold regular meetings in the presence of Stewart, to discuss issues concerning the bicommunal technical committees, as well to review the Cyprus issue in general.




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