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President to meet UNSG in New York (updated)

President Nikos Christodoulides

President Nikos Christodoulides’ meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will be decisive, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said on Friday, ahead of the meeting.

Christodoulides is scheduled to meet Guterres at 7.10 Cyprus time, and they are expected to discuss prospects of sending a UN Secretary-general Special Adviser on the Cyprus problem to the island in the hope of reviving negotiations.

“The five security council members want the UN Secretary-general to appoint an advisor on the Cyprus problem,” Letymbiotis said.

He was commenting on contacts that the president has had so far in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

The president is also set to host a lunch for all five permanent members of the security council later in the day on Friday.

Speaking on CyBC about Turkey’s stance and President Tayyip Erdogan’s insistence on a two-state solution for the Cyprus problem, Letymbiotis added that the president of Turkey is trying to avoid and violate the agreed solution framework, however the president of the Republic maintains a sober attitude, reiterating his readiness for the resumption of negotiations.

The Greek Cypriot side, underlined Letymbiotis, must exhaust all the margins and all available diplomatic tools to resolve the Cypriot issue.

On Thursday, Christodoulides met officials of two countries which are permanent members, US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Vice President of China Han Zheng, who both expressed their support for the appointment of a UNSG envoy on the Cyprus question.

Meanwhile the possibility for a trilateral meeting between Guterres, Christodoulides and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar could still take place before Saturday evening when Christodoulides is scheduled to leave New York.

The UNSG is scheduled to meet Tatar on Saturday morning. There is also a possibility that a trilateral meeting will not take place now, but according to diplomatic sources, the UNSG will invite the two leaders to a joint meeting in the near future.

The meeting which Guterres is expected to have with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan will also play an important role as regards the developments in the Cyprus question. Guterres will meet Fidan in place of his planned meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday, which was postponed.

Fidan on Thursday met EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. Borrell said in a post on social media that he and Fidan spoke about the next steps in EU-Turkey relations ahead of the report he will present to the EU commission to the EU council. They also discussed the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

On Friday evening Christodoulides and his wife Philippa Karsera Christodoulides and members of the Cypriot delegation will travel to Queens to attend a dinner hosted in honour of the president by organisations of the diaspora.

During the dinner the organisations will honour the former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with the Freedom Award.

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