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Preparations for a new Geneva in the works

Despite Nicosia’s reservations, there seem to be intensive behind-the-scenes preparations for a new Geneva Conference on Cyprus in June with the aim of reaching the final stages of negotiations on the Cyprus problem.

According to sources close to Phileleftheros, Turkey has indicated that she would be more ‘flexible’ on the issues of guarantees and security within the framework of a conference if Nicosia accepts the issue of the four freedoms.

The demand by Turkey to afford its nationals living in a post solution Cyprus the European Union’s four freedoms, although in the background and despite Nicosia’s objections, have been kept very much alive.

In their first meeting after the break in negotiations, the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci raised the issue of a new Geneva Conference.

On his part, President Nicos Anastasiades said that in order for a new conference to take place, all the convergences had to be agreed on and that the differences on major issues needed to be brought closer.

On their part, the United Nations consider a new conference to have a finalising characteristic – a solution or a definitive deadlock. The UN believes that the talks are not progressing and believe that only a conference at such a level will bring results.

The United Nations aim to announce a date for the conference after the two leaders’ meeting on May 17. Further meetings between the two leaders in order to evaluate the scenario for a new Geneva have also not been ruled out.

The setting for a June summit is also linked to the personal agenda of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, Espen Barth Eide.

The UN official is a strong candidate for the Norwegian Labour Party in the country’s parliamentary election on September 11. This means that Eide will resign his UN post during the summer and as such is looking for results in the negotiations in June

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