Jane Hall Lute, the UN official due in Cyprus this month for consultations with President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will find out the outcome of their reflections since a Conference on Cyprus ended last summer and whether they feel there exists or will soon exist sufficient conditions to return to meaningful negotiations, UN Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar said on Friday
Spehar was replying to journalists’ questions aftera meeting with Akinci in his office. She said she he had a good meeting with Akinci and his associates and that they talked about the upcoming Security Council consultations, the briefing that she will be giving to the Council with respect to UNFICYP and the consultations that Lute on behalf of the Secretary General will be conducting soon, during which she will be speaking to the parties to the Conference on Cyprus, starting with the leaders.
Replying to a question whether it is true that consultations will take place between Greece and Turkey, Spehar said “I have no idea about that” and added that Lute will start with the two leaders because it is a leader-led process and then she will speak to other parties.
Asked what Lute will speak to them about, she noted that “I think you may have heard what the Deputy Spokesperson of the Secretary General said a few days ago and that is that the Secretary General has asked her to do something very specific and that is to speak to all of the parties that were at the Conference on Cyprus to find the outcome of their reflections since the conference is closed and to ask whether they feel that there are sufficient conditions or whether sufficient conditions will soon exist to return to meaningful negotiations.” So, she added, “what are their views on that issue.”
Replying to a question whether there is a time limit for Lute’s efforts, Spehar said that there is no time limit and that the Secretary General would like her to start as soon as possible so she will be starting within July.
Replying to a question on whether the peacekeeping force in Cyprus will be reduced, she said that the Security Council will decide about that and they have no information about that now.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. The latest round of UN-peace talks, last year, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended without an agreement. Talks held under the auspices of the UN aim at reunifying Cyprus under a federal roof.