By Tom Cleaver and Elias Hazou

President Nikos Christodoulides met with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday.

Both Christodoulides and Guterres are in Belgium for the European Council summit, with Guterres also expected to speak with other European leaders about matters such as the Middle East and the war in Ukraine.

Speaking upon his arrival in Brussels on Thursday, Christodoulides said that he was to discuss with Guterres the Cyprus problem, the results of UN envoy Maria Angela Holguin’s second visit to the island, and the planned next steps.

He also said he will hold a joint meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and European Council President Charles Michel.

At that meeting, he said, matters relating to relations between the European Union and Turkey will be discussed.

We wish for developments in relations between the EU and Turkey more than any other member state. However, those developments can only happen through progress on the Cyprus problem.”

He said recent statements made by Turkey “did not help” matters, but that “we are here to have discussions on the basis of the agreed framework.”

Christodoulides and Guterres will both attend a lunch for European Union heads of government.

Speaking to reporters on his way to the European Council, the president said Nicosia favours closer EU-Turkey relations, but under certain conditions.

“Our position is well known. More than any other member state, we wish for developments in EU-Turkey relations,” he noted.

“But developments”. he went on, “that pass through a specific progress on the Cyprus issue. And when say ‘progress’, we cannot discuss anything else beyond the restart of talks on the basis of the agreed framework and from where the talks left off at Crans Montana.”

The president said that in their one-on-one meeting, he and Guterres would discuss Cyprus’ initiative for the maritime aid corridor to Gaza.

Christodoulides will also take part in an event for the European People’s Party, the pan-European centre-right movement, and in the European Council summit later in the day.

Topics of discussion at the summit are set to include the Middle East, the war in Ukraine, migration, security, EU enlargement, and foreign relations.

On Wednesday, Christodoulides addressed the College of Europe, a postgraduate institute of European studies.