President Anastasiades briefed the National Council on Thursday on the latest developments in the Cyprus Problem, and extended an invitation to Council members to accompany him on the informal meeting the UN is organising, that is expected to take place in New York in late February or early May.
In statements after the meeting, deputy government deputy spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas said Anastasiades briefed the National Council on the contents of his meetings with the UNSG’s Special Envoy and Special Representative Jane Holl Lute and Elizabeth Spehar, with whom Anastasiades discussed Antonio Guterres’ intention to bring all parties – the two sides and the three guarantor powers – together in an informal summit under the auspices of the UN.
The 5+1 summit will see all sides table their positions on how best to move forward with peace talks, a step growing increasingly crucial in light of the radically different solution models the two sides publicly claim to be seeking.
The President also briefed the National Council on a phone conversation held with Guterres on January 11 to discuss the summit, as well as the UNSG’s draft reports on his Good Offices mission and on UNFICYP, the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus. Anastasiades also informed the Council on the contents of a recent letter he addressed to Guterres.
The Council moreover heard of the President’s proposals for specific confidence-building measures that would assist in the resumption of negotiations.
The President’s briefing was followed by extensive discussion in which members of the National Council submitted their own proposals and opinions.