UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute met separately on Tuesday with the two Cypriot leaders, who said they were open to a possible five-party informal meeting but expressed diametrically opposite views on solving the Cyprus Problem.
According to local media, Lute met with President Nicos Anastasiades in the evening with the Greek Cypriot leader expressing willingness to join the informal meeting but noting that UN resolutions had to be considered, essentially sticking to a federal framework.
While Anastasiades said he would join five-party talks 'without terms and preconditions' he also said he rejected Tatar's two-state solution
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had asked Lute to hear out all sides in the Cyprus Problem before he could decide whether he would call a five-party meeting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders also joined by Cyprus’ three guarantor powers, Greece, Turkey, and Britain.
Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, who was a guest on state radio Wednesday morning, said President Anastasiades made clear to Lute that the Greek Cypriot side expected Guterres would take into consideration a number of resolutions and statements that call for a federal solution during a five-party meeting.
While Anastasiades said he would join five-party talks “without terms and preconditions” he also said he rejected the idea of a two-state solution, a proposal backed by newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.
The Turkish Cypriot leader had met earlier in the day with Lute, with Tatar saying after the meeting that he asked the UN envoy to assist Guterres in calling an informal conference on the Cyprus Problem, a move also backed by Ankara.
Tatar also said Lute understood his position that a new process would require a new basis, with the Turkish Cypriot leader reverting to his idea of sovereign equality and effectively calling for a two-state solution.
Media sources said Guterres was willing to call an informal meeting but not if there were early signs that talks would collapse. Lute will report back to Guterres after a trip to Athens, London, and Ankara in the days and weeks to come.
The two sides on the divided island have been engaged in UN-led peace talks since 1968.