In a letter to the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed his readiness to resume talks for a settlement of the Cyprus Problem on the basis of convergences already reached, including agreements during the Berlin meeting of November 2019, but also in accordance with Security Council Resolutions.
Responding to a letter sent by Anastasiades on October 19, in which the President proclaimed his readiness to take part in a new initiative to resolve the Cyprus Problem, Guterres confirmed the readiness of his good services for a resumption of negotiations that would build on the existing body of work.
“In this regard, I understand that you have already contacted the newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar and that you have both expressed the desire to meet informally on the island under the auspices of my Deputy Special Adviser, Elizabeth Spehar, as soon as possible,” Guterres said in his letter.
“I hope that this first informal contact will pave the way for fruitful discussions and I reiterate my commitment to explore with you and Mr Tatar, as well as with the guarantors, the possibility of launching an informal five-party UN Summit at the appropriate stage,” he added.
Guterres highlighted the importance of “developing additional confidence-building measures that will bring the two communities closer together and of avoiding any unilateral actions that could undermine the future success of new negotiations.”
“I firmly believe that the best way forward is to return to negotiations and the securing of a lasting solution in line with the parameters set by the United Nations as they arise in the relevant Security Council resolutions for the benefit of all Cypriots and for more peace in the region.”
Guterres’ response was welcomed on Thursday by the government of the Republic of Cyprus, which noted that Anastasiades has already submitted 21 proposals outlining specific confidence-building measures that could be established, in which the Famagusta region features prominently.
It remains to be seen whether Tatar will stick to the Turkey-backed position of a two-state solution, that would throw off course decades of efforts for a federal solution. Anastasiades and Tatar are set to meet for the first time on November 3.