UN envoy Jane Holl Lute is back on the island to hold separate discussions on Tuesday with the two Cypriot leaders, just days before the seasoned diplomat’s boss is expected to run shoulders with President Nicos Anastasiades in Brussels.
Lute, who landed on in the Republic of Cyprus on Monday afternoon, was scheduled to meet Tuesday morning with UN Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar before meeting the two Cypriot leaders separately.
According to local media, Lute will meet the Greek Cypriot leader, President Nicos Anastasiades, at the Presidential Palace in the south at 9:30am, while she will cross into the north after lunchtime to meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar later in the afternoon.
Last week the Cyprus News Agency cited UN sources saying not much would be expected from Lute on any new peace talks unless she saw common ground, something politic pundits have dismissed following an informal 5+1 meeting in Geneva in late April.
Borrell has warned EU foreign ministers that the leaders would not be expected to delve into deep discussions about Turkey and Cyprus, pointing to a much bigger issue on how to deal with Russia
But UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is still expected to meet with Anastasiades later this week in Brussels, where the world’s chief diplomat has been invited to attend the European Council on June 24.
European Council President Charles Michel has invited Guterres to attend the meeting, according to a EU spokesperson, in order to “strengthen EU-UN relations to deal with global challenges,” citing a host of issues including multilateralism, climate, human rights, peace, development, and the post-Covid-19 global recovery.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell has warned EU foreign ministers that the EU leaders would not be expected to delve into deep discussions about Turkey and Cyprus, pointing to a much bigger issue on how to deal with Russia.
“Certainly our relations with Turkey are very much influenced by the Cyprus issue so we will follow it attentively, the situation in Cyprus, trying to push for the continuation of the negotiations that restarted in Geneva, because I think this is a good occasion to try to look for a solution to the Cyprus settlement,” Borrell said during a briefing of the Foreign Affairs Council.
But Anastasiades and Guterres, who are to meet face to face for the first time since the 5+1 meeting, will still have an opportunity to discuss the Cyprus Problem and Turkey.
The Greek Cypriot leader, who had a minor medical procedure over the weekend, has told reporters that he would convey to Guterres the Greek Cypriot side’s readiness to participate in a new dialogue “always based on UN resolutions and within the UNSG’s mandate.”
But UN support for a federal solution in Cyprus has been brought into question, after Turkish Cypriots have accused Greek Cypriots of not being open about sharing a federated country equally, calling instead for two equal states on the island.