Jane Holl Lute, the special envoy of the UN Secretary General, is set to meet with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Tuesday as part of her ongoing Cyprus tour.
Kotzias will welcome the UN diplomat in Athens at 4pm, where he is expected to lay down the main positions of his government regarding the Cyprus talks process.
The meeting comes one week following the foreign minister’s visit to Izmir, where he met with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu and attended the inauguration of a renovated historic building of the Greek General Consulate in the Turkish city.
Kotzias is expected to lay down the main positions of his government regarding the Cyprus talks process
The UN envoy already held separate meetings back in July with the two Cypriot leaders, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, as well as Cavusoglu, but she made no public comments about her exchanges.
Lute’s meetings are part of a round of consultations where the UN diplomat is sounding out all parties involved in the Cyprus issue and reporting back to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The UN envoy will then visit Brussels where she will sit down with Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Following consultations, Guterres is expected to evaluate Lute’s input as a decision is being sought whether there is ground for restarting meaningful peace talks.
Guterres said he might take a new initiative on the Cyprus negotiations only if he feels that both sides are willing and prepared to go all the way.
The Greek foreign minister will also meet with his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides this week, while both men will be in Israel on Thursday.
Kotzias says no to guarantees
On Monday, the Greek foreign minister touched on the Cyprus issue during remarks he made during a roundtable discussion at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs.
During a talk about foreign policy towards the EU and Greece's role in the region, Kotzias reiterated the position that there should be no guarantor powers by third countries in a reunited Cyprus.
Both Greece and Turkey, along with the UK, are guarantor powers in Cyprus, a status that is being brought into question by both Nicosia and Athens.
London has maintained a neutral stance on the issue, saying it would go along with whatever the two sides of the conflict can agree.
Ankara insists that military presence and guarantees are crucial to acting as a deterrent against what Turkish Cypriots perceive as a threat coming from the larger community of Greek Cypriots.
Greek Cypriots, on the other hand, see guarantees as anathema citing their own fears stemming from the summer events of 1974, when Turkish military invaded Cyprus in response to a short-lived coup engineered by Athens.