By Andria Kades and Tom Cleaver

UN envoy Maria Angela Holguin on Monday said she would be preparing a report after her visit, and meet with UNSG Antonio Guterres in the coming days.

Her statements outside the presidential palace came after a meeting with President Nikos Christodoulides which began at 10:30am and lasted for around 50 minutes.

“I am just at the end of my mandate. I am going to prepare a report, I am going to have meetings with the UNSG in the coming days and then we will come back and see how we can continue to ‘push’.

“I will push until the last day and I think this is what the people of Cyprus deserve.”

Holguin said this is also in line with what the UN secretary-general wants.

 

Her meeting at 12pm with Turkish Cypriot Ersin Tatar wrapped up in 20 minutes, and she made no statements.

Tatar reiterated his commitment to only restart negotiations once “the sovereign equality and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot people” has been accepted by both the Greek Cypriot side and the international community.

But speaking after meeting Christodouldies, the envoy underlined she would continue to push for a trilateral meeting between the UN, Christodoulides and Tatar.

“We continue to press for that. Dialogue is the only way to open roads and to open possibilities. The minimum the people deserve is a dialogue between the two parties.”

Holguin added the meeting with Christodoulides went well and they spoke “about various issues”.

She highlighted the leaders have to listen to the people.

“The common ground is the people and what they want. This is what I will continue to press for.”

Holguin’s report will be impartial and will include her observations from civil society, political parties, politicians and “especially what people want”, she said.

Government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis called the meeting constructive where Christodoulides reiterated his readiness to resume negotiations.

“Or at the very least, have a meeting with Mr Tatar in Ms Holguin’s presence.”

He underlined Monday’s meeting between Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was “extremely important”.

Asked to comment on whether Holguin’s statements were a nod to Christodoulides to do more, Letymbiotis rejected the suggestion, highlighting that the bare minimum which had to happen during Holguin’s visit was a meeting between Christodoulides, herself and Tatar.

“Dialogue is not only the first step, it is the obvious step which should have already happened. We reiterate our willingness and readiness to do such a meeting.

“Only through dialogue can concerns be resolved.”

Letymbiotis added Holguin leaves on Tuesday and after her third official visit to Cyprus.

holguin tatar

Holguin’s meeting with Tatar on Monday was short, lasting less than 20 minutes. Following the meeting, she left his official residence in northern Nicosia without making any statements to reporters.

But Tatar did address the waiting press.

“When we look at processes from the past such as the Annan Plan, Crans-Montana, and the Greek Cypriots’ accession to the European Union, it becomes clear that the Turkish Cypriot people’s sovereignty must be accepted for there to be a fair, permanent, and sustainable agreement in Cyprus,” he said.

For this reason, he said, he is pursuing his “new policy” of a two-state solution, which he said “is essentially a step towards the removal of the unfair isolations and embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cypriots”.

Evaluating his various meetings with Holguin, he said he had told her that a new process could begin “with the removal of the isolations and the emergence of the Turkish Cypriots’ sovereignty”, saying that she had at the time found these positions “reasonable”.

However, he said, “when she came again, she told us that there would be no opening on this front.”

In response, he said, “we expressed our opinion that if there is no initiative on this front, we cannot take the dialogue further. She accepted this understanding. She sees that there is no common ground. If there is no common ground, there is no future.”

He went on to say he hopes the report to be written by Holguin will be balanced and sent a warning regarding her meetings with non-governmental organisations and trade unions while on the island.

Last week, Holguin proposed a trilateral meeting between herself, Christodoulides and Tatar. Nonetheless, Tatar rejected the suggestion highlighting that only with the confirmation of sovereign equality and equal international status for the Turkish Cypriot side can negotiations be back on the table.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Christodoulides said he is ready to cooperate with Turkey on matters pertaining to energy before and after a solution to the Cyprus problem.

“Even before a possible solution to the Cyprus problem, we had conveyed our readiness to delineate our maritime boundaries … on the basis of the relevant Convention of the Law of the Sea,” he said.