There was no disagreement among party leaders at Monday’s meeting of the National Council, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said. The president had listened to the suggestions of the parties, there was an exchange of views and in-depth discussion of the next steps, he said, adding that “at this moment there is no disagreement.”

Why would there be any disagreement considering nothing has happened and no decision needs to be taken about anything? Disagreements will surface once the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy starts talking to the two leaders in an attempt to persuade them to resume talks. For now, even the party leaders who are opposed to a federal settlement are happy with what is happening.

Diko chief Nicolas Papadopoulos said the appointment of Maria Holguin Cuellar as the UNSG’s envoy was an extremely positive development as there was now “movement in the right direction” after a “long period of stagnation.” Of course, once Cuellar is here, the movement could start going in the wrong direction and disagreements would emerge.

This is assuming President Christodoulides moves in any direction when Cuellar tries to bring the two sides together. His opposition to the time frame of six months mooted by the Turkish side suggests he would be happy with a situation of interminable consultations of Cuellar with the two sides that would ensure little movement and ultimately lead nowhere. This way, the president would keep all the parties on side – those that want to see a resumption of the talks and those that do not.

Christodoulides is deluding himself if he seriously believes he could engage meaningfully with Cuellar for a resumption of the talks with the backing of all the parties. Perhaps he hopes to achieve this with the establishment of the ‘Cyprus problem team’ for which he asked the parties to propose names of people who would participate in it.

This is just another publicity gimmick – a lower lever national council – aimed at creating the impression of consensus. How would this team, made up of people from parties which oppose a federal settlement, from parties which support a federal settlement and from parties which want the maintenance of the status quo operate? How could this team operate when its members have completely different objectives?

The final say, presumably, would belong to the president, but this would be the case if the president wanted to take responsibility for the final say. The likelihood is that the idea of a Cyprus problem team has been proposed by the president so he could pass on responsibility for it and avoid the difficult decisions. The creation of the team, made up of party representatives, is an indication that Christodoulides is not prepared to show the type of leadership that is essential for the resumption of the talks with a view to securing a deal.

Committees and teams for the Cyprus issue might ensure there is no disagreement among the parties, but they will also ensure nothing happens.