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18 June, 2024
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UN envoy rolls the dice on Cyprus

Stakes are high as Jane Lute visits divided Nicosia to perform a balancing act


UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute is meeting separately with the leaders of divided Cyprus on Monday, in an effort by the global organization to gauge possible outcomes before committing to informal talks on the decades-long problem.

(Click here for an update to the story)

Lute, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cyprus, was scheduled to meet with the Greek Cypriot leader, President Nicos Anastasiades, at the Presidential Palace on Monday morning around 10:30am.

After her visit in the south, Lute is expected to cross into the north in the afternoon, where she is expected to meet newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, around 2:30pm.

The UN have not stated clearly the basis for a settlement being sought but included references attributing BBF to Anastasiades and pointing out Tatar’s view that federation had run its course

Lute has been tasked by UNSG Antonio Guterres to evaluate the likelihood of a productive “informal five-party conference” between the two sides of the divided island, along with guarantor powers Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

The so-called informal 5+1 meeting would come amid diametrically opposite views on solving the Cyprus issue, as they have been expressed by the two camps.

While Lute’s visit aims to assess readiness for informal talks, local media reported that the Greek Cypriot side was concerned over an apparent lack of strong references on the solution model, namely a Bicomunal, Bizonal, Federal system.

Tatar, an Ankara-favourite who was elected late last year as the new Turkish Cypriot leader, has called for alternative solutions to be included on the table, namely a two-state model, arguing Greek Cypriots have rejected a BBF solution which he described as “no longer realisitic.”

The UN have not stated clearly the basis for a settlement being sought this time around but have included references attributing BBF to Anastasiades as well as pointing out Tatar’s view that the federal option had run its course.

Lute came to Cyprus following her trip to the island late last year, where she got the nod from both sides to proceed with her 5+1 mission and then held consultations with Athens, Ankara, and London before reporting back to Guterres.

The Secretary-General has reportedly said he would be willing to call an informal meeting but not if there were early signs that talks would collapse.

The two sides on the divided island have been engaged in UN-led peace talks since 1968.

Cyprus  |  UN  |  Lute  |  Cyprus Problem  |  informal talks  |  Greece  |  Turkey  |  Britain

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