President Nikos Christodoulides will meet the UN Secretary General’s personal envoy for Cyprus Maria Holguin on Saturday, government spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis said on Tuesday.

The meeting follows one that took place between the two of them on Monday as part of the second round of contacts she is holding on the island towards finding common ground to restart negotiations on the Cyprus problem.

Asked if there are any “positive signs” from her meetings so far, she said both sides are willing “to explore”, and that this is “a good thing”.

On Tuesday Holguin met party leaders of Diko and Akel, Nicholas Papadopoulos and Stefanos Stefanou.

“We had the opportunity to answer her questions and convey Diko’s consistent and longstanding positions that the only basis for the solution of the Cyprus issue is the agreed framework,” Papadopoulos said.

He added that the framework is based on UN resolutions and high-level agreements, and on a bizonal bicommunal federation, all of which “have defined both the content and the form of the process that must be followed to resume negotiations.

“Any deviation from the UN resolutions constitutes a violation, and our side cannot accept a change in the basis of the negotiations,” Papadopoulos said.

“We are very concerned about this, as we see that the Turkish side is far from seeking to restart negotiations.”

He added that what the Turkish side seeks is to lead things to a final deadlock and thus achieve either a change in the basis of the talks to a two-state solution or “to resume efforts for the recognition of the pseudo state or the annexation of the occupied areas to Turkey”.

We believe in a more active involvement of the EU and we believe that it can offer incentives or sanctions related to Turkey’s European course to persuade Ankara to return to the negotiating table, Papadopoulos added.

Stefanou also reiterated that both sides “must adhere to the agreed basis for a solution, which is a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality as described by the UN.

“This is necessary since Turkey and the Turkish side are trying to abolish this agreed basis and move towards a two-state solution. This notion is unacceptable,” he said.

He also stressed to Holguin the need to resume negotiations from where they were suspended in 2017.

“There has been a lot of work done over decades. And within the Guterres framework, there is a lot of work that needs to be utilised,” he said.

Stefanou also underlined the need to shape a positive agenda towards Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots, creating incentives to persuade them to return to the negotiating table.

“These incentives certainly do not violate our red lines, nor do they create disincentives towards Turkey,” he said, adding that in December 2020 Akel submitted a comprehensive proposal on how to create a positive agenda, focusing on energy issues.