Consultations on Cyprus may continue on Monday, Spokesman says after President’s meeting with Lute

The meeting between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy on Cyprus Jane Holl Lute has been “productive,” Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Sunday, adding that Lute will decide whether and in which way the consultations will continue on Monday, not ruling out the possibility of Lute holding a joint meeting with Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

Lute departed from the Presidential Palace without making any statements. She is set to have a meeting with Akinci at 1700 hours (1400 GMT).

In statements after President Anastasiades’ meeting with Lute, Prodromou said that “it was a productive meeting which focused on Lute’s mandate on preparing the terms of reference for the resumption of the negotiations.”

He noted that Anastasiades “outlined his positions and his positive approach on the resumption of the negotiations”

He added that as was expected, President Anastasiades raised the matter of Turkey’s illegal actions within Cyprus’ EEZ and territorial waters and generally the Turkish side’s provocations as well as the serious issue related to the illegal interventions and announcements regarding the fenced – off part of the city of Famagusta.

Lute, the Spokesman continued, will meet this afternoon with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and “it is likely that tomorrow consultations will continue, without ruling out, if that would be helpful, a joint meeting.”

Asked whether Lute seemed to be troubled by Turkey’s provocations, he replied that President Anastasiades has raised these issues and they are been taken into account in view of the effort for the resumption of the negotiations.

For the moment, Prodromou pointed out, “and given that it is likely that tomorrow consultations will continue it would be better to confine ourselves to what we know today.”

Replying to a question as to whether Lute conveyed a message on behalf of the Secretary-General or proposals to break the deadlock, he said that Lute has instructions and a mandate from the UN Secretary-General. This is a fact, he said, adding that she is working on the effort to formulate the terms of reference so that negotiations can resume.

Asked whether tomorrow`s consultations depend on what Lute hears from Akinci or whether a new round of consultations has already been set, the Spokesman said that “it depends from the Secretary General’s envoy herself.”

Lute will be here tomorrow as well and it will be announced if and when consultations will continue, he added.

Replying to a question as to whether President Anastasiades agrees with having a joint meeting tomorrow, Prodromou said that that the President has of course a positive approach.

President Anastasiades, he pointed out, has put forward proposals for some time now “because the objective is to resume substantial negotiations.” Lute, he continued, “will deterimine and it will be announced if and how the consultations will continue tomorrow.”
Asked whether progress has been achieved on the terms of reference he replied recalling that there was a joint statement by the two leaders issued on August 9.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana, ended inconclusively.


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