UN officials have reiterated the Secretary General’s intent to move forward with the 5+1 informal meeting “very soon,” following rumours in the media that not everyone was on board for the sit-down.
Following questions regarding UNSG Antonio Guterres’ intent to convene an informal “five-plus-one” meeting with the two leaders of divided Cyprus as well as three guarantor powers, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom, the Secretary-General’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric issued a statement Thursday night.
Guterres said he would support another attempt to bring parties to the table only if he saw signs of success, adding that an informal meeting would help him make that determination
“Following the consultations conducted by Senior UN official, Ms. Jane Holl Lute, over the past several months, the Secretary-General intends to convene an informal five-plus-one meeting on the Cyprus issue very soon,” Dujarric said, adding that a formal announcement would follow.
The purpose of the meeting will be to determine whether common ground exists for the parties to negotiate a sustainable, lasting solution to the Cyprus problem within a foreseeable horizon, the spokesperson added.
Local media have been reporting on diametrically opposed views between the two sides, with Turkey and Turkish Cypriots calling for equal sovereignty through a two-state model, while Greece and Greek Cypriots are sticking to a federal solution to reunify the island.
Attempts to reunify the divided island under a federal umbrella have failed over half a century, with both sides accusing each other of intransigence.
Guterres said he would support another attempt to bring parties to the table only if he saw signs of success, adding that an informal meeting would help him make that determination.
Reports said parties involved in the meeting have been raising concerns over the basis of the discussion, but no side has declined the invitation to attend the historic sitdown.