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31° Nicosia,
22 September, 2018
 
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Open agenda for leaders dinner date

UN says it is up to Anastasiades and Akinci on what is to be discussed during their informal meeting

Newsroom

There is no fixed agenda for a UN-hosted dinner for President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci who haven't met since last year.

“It is up to the two leaders what they will discuss, there is an open agenda. We will leave it up to them,” said the UN Secretary General Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar on Friday.

She made the comments after meeting Anastasiades in the presence of Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou.

“I have had a good meeting with Mr Anastasiades and with his colleagues. The nature of this discussion was about the dinner, the informal meeting that we will be having on Monday evening," said Spehar.

"It will be a meeting without an agenda and this will allow the two leaders to freely exchange views"

She added: "So we are talking about the preparations for that. This follows the meeting that I had with Mr Akinci earlier in the week to do the same thing, also to talk about preparations."

The United Nations is hoping that dinner diplomacy can break the current stalemate and open the way for a resumption of reunification talks that crashed at a Swiss summit in July 2017.

"So things are going smoothly so far and I look forward to hosting both of the leaders on Monday evening at my Chief of Mission residence in the buffer zone.
As you know this will be the first time that they sit down with each other and speak in a number of months.”

Anastasiades has said he hopes the dinner will lead to the resumption of Cyprus talks and the willingness of the Turkish Cypriot side to ensure that happens.

Expectations aren’t high about Monday’s social gathering which doesn’t signal a formal resumption of peace talks.

But diplomats are hoping the Cypriot leaders can find “common ground” on reviving the peace process.

"It is a positive development in the sense that it is something that needed to happen. It is not, of course, a formal negotiation meeting, but it is a meeting through which we, the President, aim to resume talks," said Prodromou about the dinner.

"It will be a meeting without an agenda and this will allow the two leaders to freely exchange views," he added.

Later on Friday, President Anastasiades and Greek PM Alexis Tsipras had a long telephone conversation that focused on the upcoming dinner and Athens gave Nicosia its full backing.

 

TAGS
UN. dinner  |  Cyprus  |  Anastasiades  |  Akinci

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