Nicosia.- (GreekNewsOnline, CNA)
The next steps in the dialogue to solve the Cyprus problem are expected to be defined during the meetings the UNSG Antonio Guterres will have with the community leaders in New York at the end of the month. Guterres will have separate meetings with President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and he will decide if he will call a tripartite meeting to take place most probably beginning of October.
His envoy Jane Hall Lute concluded her one week mission on the island on Friday with an informal meeting with the leaders, one which was described as a social one but took place in order to send messages of hope for a dialogue that needs to stay alive. All sides reconfirmed their determination to continue the efforts.
All past week Lute had daily meetings with the leaders in a bid to secure the terms of reference that would lead to the resumption of the stalled talks. The terms were not finalized but Lute will brief the SG on her contacts with the leaders and will also meet with guarantor powers in New York to determine where they stand. SG Envoy is expected to tell Guterres that leaders have an understanding on three issues as these where confirmed during an informal meeting Anastasiades and Akinci had on August 9, namely the joint statement of February 11th, 2014, the six parameters of the Guterres framework as presented on June 30, 2017 and the convergences that led to the Conference in Crans Montana.
In order to avoid the termination of the procedure for the terms of reference, Lute will also be presenting Guterres with two documents; one by the Greek Cypriots the other by the Turkish Cypriots.
State broadcaster CyBC said that the text of the terms, which was initially half page long, has now reached one page and a half.
Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu is meeting on Monday with Akinci and the political leaders and his statements will reflect on the Turkish side’s stance at the moment.
JANE HOLL LUTE
The United Nations Secretary – General`s special envoy on Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute, said serious, ongoing discussions are being held with the leaders of the two communities on the island, who pledged on Friday to continue the process.
In remarks at the informal reception she hosted for both leaders Friday afternoon in the United Nations Protected Area, Lute said “we had serious discussions that have been quite focused”.
Lute said “this is an effort that is ongoing”, adding that “both leaders have committed to continue the process”.
Lute arrived on Saturday, August 31, in Cyprus, in an effort to conclude the terms of reference that would pave the way for the resumption of settlement talks.
UP TO GUTERRES
After a fruitless effort to conclude the terms of reference, to pave the resumption of settlement talks, it is up to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his envoy, Jane Holl Lute, to decide how to proceed next, said a diplomatic source. As CNA learns, the process will not continue in any way in Cyprus.
After returning from an informal reception, on Friday evening, in the presence of Lute and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades confirmed his tête-à-tête with Guterres later this month in New York, while the diplomatic source noted that “there is the prospect of a trilateral meeting” of President Anastasiades and Akinci with Guterres.
It is expected that Lute will continue her contacts with the guarantor powers, however, it is not certain whether this will happen before the President of Cyprus departs for New York to attend the UN General Assembly.
Nothing was wasted, we learned how the other side thinks, the same source said finally.
“We don’t give up hope, there is an ongoing process” said the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, after attending an informal social gathering on Friday with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and UN envoy Jane Holl Lute, in the United Nations Protected Area, in Nicosia.
Speaking at the Presidential Palace, upon his return, the President said that “there has been no discussion during the small reception, apart from friendly exchanges and pleasantries. Along, of course, with the expression of hope and of encouragement from Lute to continue with the effort, with the hope that we conclude something that will create the prospects for a creative dialogue.”
Asked how this effort will continue, President Anastasiades said that “it is up to Lute through her contacts, also with the guarantor powers, to judge or prepare something that will comprise the basis for the terms of reference.”
On another question, about the prospects of a joint meeting with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the President replied that “this time, what I know is that I will certainly meet him.”
Asked finally if there is disappointment that the effort was not successful, despite the initial understanding between the two sides, he said that “there is no disappointment, we don’t give up hope, there is an ongoing process, therefore let’s leave it at that.”
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said on Saturday after briefing political leaders in the north on his consultations with Lute that it would be wrong to say that no developments had taken place.
“We are not after a process like before. This will be a new process it will not be endless or open-ended and drag on forever” he said according to media reports in the north.
In response to criticism from his opposition, he said that political parties should not be biased when they look at the situation.
Consultations with Lute were “intense and constructive,” Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said after the reception, but noted that the aim was to finalise the terms of reference, which has not been achieved.
Both sides agreed to continue efforts towards achieving this goal, Akinci said. “We will continue working so that a successful result can be achieved from the work that has been done…which will lead to a new starting point.”
GREEK CYPRIOT PARTIES
Main opposition Akel expressed its disappointment and concern. Akel parliamentary spokesman Giorgos Loukaides said that while Guterres himself had assessed that the sides were close to reaching an agreement in 2017 at the talks in Crans-Montana, “more than two years later, not even the preconditions have been fulfilled for the resumption of the talks.”
He said there was an absence of comprehensive information on the reasons for the failure of Lute’s latest effort.
“We do know however how important it is this time for Mr Anastasiades’ narrative to be along the same lines as that of the UN Secretary-General,” he said.
Loukaides warned that it seems the window of opportunity for the resumption and completion of the negotiation process would not remain open much longer.
“We expect everyone, and in particular Mr Anastasiades, since we cannot determine the attitude of the Turkish Cypriot side or Turkey, that he will act within the framework Mr Guterres has clearly set out.”
The Solidarity Movement said the outcome was once more to the detriment of Cyprus and its people. On the one hand, Anastasiades was able to shake off him the pressure that he did not want any talks and now he will “be at peace with himself” for the next three months.
On the other hand, Akinci secured more concessions by the Greek Cypriot side which he is expected to cash in during the upcoming elections in the north, the party said.
It added that in the meantime, Turkey will carry on unobstructed with its own games.