It is not at all clear whether the efforts of the UNSG’s personal envoy spell the “beginning of a solution or the beginning of the end” for the Cyprus problem, Disy MP Averof Neophytou said on Tuesday.

In a scathing statement, the former party leader criticised the Christodoulides government for inaction, saying that, “as per its custom, the state leadership has confined itself to the role of observer and commentator.”

“Maria Angela Holguin came, saw, and left, for a third time […] with a public [admonition] to the two leaders, as if to say, ‘do something so I don’t leave empty-handed [again],’” Neophytou said.

Holguin who left Cyprus on Monday, met with Greek Foreign Minister, Giorgos Gerapetritis in Athens on Tuesday morning.

The Greek foreign minister in an interview on national media said the state’s position was that discussion between the parties should be restarted and that Greece was exerting all its influence towards this end.

“Although, there has indeed been in recent years an increased rhetoric on the part of the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot sides regarding a sovereign equality, which is outside the framework of the United Nations, the crucial thing at the moment — and this is why we are exerting all our influence – is for President Christodoulides to sit at the same table and discuss with Tatar,” he said.

Gerapetritis also underscored his belief that the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations would contribute positively to the Cyprus discussions.

“There is absolutely no way to leave the Cyprus issue behind,” he said.

Although previous meetings between the two parties in Cyprus had been characterised by Holguin as “constructive” her recent meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar lasted less than 20 minutes.

In statements to Kathimerini Holguin had expressed her surprise at Tatar’s public rejection of a trilateral meeting with President Nikos Christodoulides, and said decisions rested in the hands of the leaders “who need to show courage and determination.”

She added that the Christodoulides government had a “very clear picture of what could unlock the process.”

Elsewhere, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis briefed Christodoulides on Tuesday about his high profile meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan the previous day. The Greek PM said he had conveyed to Erdogan the message that a tri-partite meeting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders is needed.

Neophytou, however, claimed that the UN envoy’s parting statements had offered no guarantee of a positive recommendation for the resumption of talks.

“The stark reality is that July is in six weeks, when the six-month deadline runs out. It is not certain whether the special envoy will visit us again, but even if she does, it will certainly be the last time,” he said.

The Cyprus problem unfortunately no longer stands at “five to midnight but at five after” Neophytou quipped.

Speaking to CyBC earlier on Tuesday, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis had confirmed that Holguin was to return for another meeting and that the government would “not be daunted in its efforts to resume dialogue.”

But Neophytou charged that Holguin’s return could spell the “beginning of the end” and said public relations feats would no longer suffice “to manage the inevitable impasse.”

The Turkish side would gladly welcome a stalemate, he said, and as stagnation creates additional risks for asserting its national goals, the aim will be towards reinstating direct trade and flights with the passage of time, to end the ‘TRNC’s international isolation following the UN’s acceptance of a lack of common ground.