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UN envoy Holguin to return in March

maria angela holguin cuellar and mitsotakis
Holguin with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis

UN envoy Maria Holguin is scheduled to return to Cyprus in March following her visit to London, as announced in her statement on Friday. This comes after the completion of her first round of contacts on the Cyprus problem, amidst reports from the north suggesting her unwelcome status.

According to reports from the north, specifically ‘foreign minister’ Tahsin Ertugruloglu, Holguin should not expect to complete her six-month mandate. Ertugruloglu stated on Thursday during a TV appearance in the north that Holguin’s mission was to convey accurately to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that “there is no common ground” on the Cyprus problem within six months.

Previously he had said, “She does not even know the Cyprus problem anyway.”

However, in her statement on Friday, Holguin made no mention of these reports, and said she would be back in March, following her visit to London, which marks the conclusion OF her visits to the guarantor powers of Greece, Turkey, and the UK.

During her first round of contacts, Holguin visited both Athens and Ankara to discuss the Cyprus problem, and also met with President Nikos Christodoulides and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

“The objective was to make the first contact with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders and listen to civil society actors, former negotiators, representatives of the international community, young people, academics, and other experts,” she said.

She added that diverse perspectives have enriched her understanding of the complexity of the situation in Cyprus.

Upon her return in March, Holguin plans to meet with leaders of political parties on both sides of Cyprus, representatives of social sectors, chambers of commerce, and economic sectors. She will also meet with the leaders again.

According to Holguin, in the initial phase of her visits, she planned to listen attentively listening, which “allows for generating new questions in the conversation with decision-makers”.

“The level of frustration felt by many, accumulated after several attempts at negotiation is perfectly understandable, therefore it is crucial to build trust, which has been seriously lacking, as a basic condition to build a future.”

She reiterated her commitment to sharing all relevant information to avoid speculation.

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