UNSG Antonio Guterres contacting Erdogan, Teresa May and the two leaders, appeals to all parties “to use this opportunity to find creative and mutually acceptable solutions
United Nations.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is contacting parties involved in the Cyprus issue, ahead of the conference on Cyprus to be held in Geneva on January the 12th.
According to UN diplomatic sources, Guterres wishes to achieve the highest possible representation of involved parties and one of the recipients of a telephone call seems to be Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, since Ankara has said it will be represented by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. Even if Yildirim will attend the conference instead of President Erdogan, most likely Prime Minister Tsipras will be attending the Geneva meeting, accompanied by Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias. According to Greek sources, Kotzias will meet with both his Turkish and British counterparts, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Boris Johnson, prior to the conference.
On Monday, Guterres will have lunch with the members of the UN Security Council and is expected to raise the Cyprus issue and his plans for the conference in Geneva. It is expected the UNSG to say to the SC members that they are welcomed to attend the opening of the Conference.
According to diplomatic sources, Antonio Guterres was expected to call British Prime Minister Teresa May, in order to secure her presence, as well as the two leaders. A Cypriot government source confirmed that a phone conference between SG Guterres and President Anastasiades was set for Sunday.
CNA correspondent in London reported that UK Prime Minister Theresa May called on Saturday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss about the Cyprus talks that will be held in Geneva next week, a Downing Street spokesperson said.
The two leaders “agreed on the importance of reaching a successful resolution to the Cyprus peace talks in Geneva, noting that this was a real opportunity to secure a better future for Cyprus and to guarantee stability in the wider region,” according to No 10.
The UK Government has stated that it stands ready to attend the conference on Cyprus that will begin on the 12th of January in Geneva, at the “appropriate” level and that final decisions will be made once the other participants have clarified their level of attendance.
May also expressed her sincere condolences on the attacks in Istanbul and Izmir.
“They wished each other a happy and peaceful New Year and the Prime Minister said she looked forward to visiting Turkey early this year,” the spokesperson added.
AN OPEN END CONFERENCE
Announcements on the presence of the UN Secretary General in Geneva for the conference on Cyprus will be made “probably on Monday”, his spokesman Stéphane Dujarric has said, noting that this was a very decisive phase for Cyprus.
“I think he will be there to open and chair the conference. There will be some more official announcements probably on Monday”, Dujarric said, replying to questions.
Dujarric said “we are in a very decisive phase in the Cyprus peace talks”.
“It is the first time that we have seen negotiations on the chapters Security and Guarantees, that will be addressed with the added participation of the guarantor powers”, Dujarric pointed out.
He noted that through the work of the UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, and “with his support, the parties themselves have made great strides and at this point it is really about being supportive of the process and see how the parties can finally bridge the final gaps”, he said.
According to UN sources, Antonio Guterres will be travelling to Geneva on January 11. So far, there are no scheduled meetings with the leaders before he opens the conference on the
The Conference that convenes on the 12th of January is expected to be open ended, meaning even though the participants fail to reach an agreement and guarantees chapter, the effort will continue. UN officials feel that if there is the necessary political will, the parties could agree on the right security mechanisms that address the concerns of both communities and all the people in Cyprus, in a relatively short period of time. This is the reason for the UN SG’s appeal to all parties “to use this opportunity to find creative and mutually acceptable solutions that address the concerns of both communities”, according to a UN Spokesman’s readout.
Their first priority is for the two leaders to close as many issues as possible, from 9-11 of January, so even though some items remain open (i.e. the presidency, or/and Morphou) the parties can focus on the security issue and the financial arrangements of the solution.
The first round of meetings in the framework of the conference is expected to last until the 15 or the 16 of January. On the 16 the Greek Foreign Minister has a scheduled visit in Paris and from the 17-20 o January, Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide will be in Davos, in his capacity of the Executive Director of the World Economic Forum.