The UN Security Council’s mandate refers explicitly to a bizonal, bicommunal solution in Cyprus, but this is not an impediment for the parties to present their positions, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told a press conference on Thursday.
"It is my intention to convene in early March a meeting of the 5+1,” Guterres said, adding that the meeting will be informal and without preconditions.
Recognising the changes in the administration of the north, Guterres said it is important that all sides are given the opportunity to discuss among themselves and to explain their visions for the future and the next steps.
Guterres said that he has a mandate from the Security Council for UN involvement in the negotiations. This mandate, he noted, refers explicitly to a bizonal, bicommunal solution.
"Obviously this is not an impediment for the parties to present the positions they will present. I am always ready to go to the SC, and if there is an agreement of the parties, to enlarge the scope of the negotiations, to be interpreted as a common agreement in this regard" he added.
He pointed out that the first step is to bring the parties together, to listen to them, to see the result of that discussion.
"And the fact that Ι stick to the mandate I received doesn’t mean that I am not open to listening to everybody, to take the conclusions of that discussion based on whatever the parties come to a common view about the future" he concluded.
Raab to hold series of talks in Cyprus ahead of summit
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will pay a short visit to Cyprus to hold consecutive meetings on February 4 with the President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, the UNSG`s Special Representative on the island Elizabeth Spehar, Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.
Raab`s discussions are expected to focus on the informal 5+1 meeting on the Cyprus problem which the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres is expected to convene at New York’s Greentree during the first week on March.
Raab will most likely represent the UK at the meeting, since it is expected that the three guarantor powers, namely Greece, Turkey and the UK, will participate in the informal meeting at the level of Foreign Ministers.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, Raab will hold a private meeting with his Cypriot counterpart, followed by expanded talks between the delegations of the two countries. Apart from the Cyprus problem and the forthcoming informal meeting, Christodoulides and Raab are expected to discuss bilateral relations after Brexit, the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and other regional issues.
The British Foreign Secretary will also meet with President Anastasides before holding a tete-a-tete with Spehar, with whom he will discuss the role and task of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), particularly in view of the recent renewal of the force’s mandate by the UN Security Council.
Raab will also meet with Tatar in the north before leaving the island.