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Nicosia hopes Lute’s contacts will result in the resumption of the negotiations

July 4, 2018 at 4:24pm
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Nicosia has expressed hope that UNSG’s envoy Jane Hall Lute’s contacts and deliberations with parties involved in the Cyprus problem will make it possible for the negotiations to resume.

Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Wednesday, replying to questions about the UN’s announcement on Tuesday that the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has asked Jane Hall Lute to conduct consultations with all parties to the Conference on Cyprus regarding the outcome of their reflections. He also said “it is known that our side is ready and willing for the negotiations to resume.”

Asked if Lute’s appointment will give a new impetus to the process, Prodromou said that “we do not want to prejudge anything.” Moreover, he noted that President Nicos Anastasiades will receive on Friday the UNSG’s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar who has asked to meet him.

Responding to a question, Prodromou noted that “we have been informed that Turkey has given its consent and therefore the Secretary General has appointed an envoy to hold in depth deliberations as the Secretary General himself says in his report,” with a view to see how the process will move on.

“According to the information that we have until now the envoy who has been appointed, Ms Lute, will probably pay a visit (to Cyprus) this month,” Prodromou noted.

Asked if this development will give an impetus to the process, the spokesman said the Cyprus problem is still pending, the UN is interested in it and the UNSG believes that negotiations should go on, noting that this has been the position of Cyprus President as well since last July, when negotiations in Crans-Montana reached a dead end.

Prodromou noted that from the very beginning Anastasiades had asked for the resumption of the negotiations from where they were left off, adding that a process will now begin after Turkey gave its consent.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. A UN-backed Conference on Cyprus last summer in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana, aiming to reunify the island under a federal roof, ended inconclusively.