Efforts to convene an informal five-party meeting, in a bid to conclude the terms of reference and resume negotiations for a Cyprus settlement, are expected to start after April 2020 and the “elections” in the Turkish Cypriot community.
Meanwhile, all other efforts are expected to be suspended, Guterres however might probe the guarantor powers in the meantime, to ascertain the right time and appropriate conditions to convene the five-party meeting.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, had on Monday an informal dinner, in Berlin, to discuss the next steps with regard to a Cyprus settlement.
Nicosia sees the suspension of efforts as inevitable due to objections raised by Turkey, the problems the UK is currently facing and the upcoming “elections” in the Turkish Cypriot community, in April.
It is up to the Secretary-General to decide whether his special envoy, Jane Holl Lute, will continue her efforts in Cyprus to conclude the terms of reference.
During dinner, the Turkish Cypriot side raised the issue of political equality, with the Secretary-General noting that discussions take place in light of all six parameters of his framework as a package and there can be no piecemeal approach.
At the same time, the Greek Cypriot side referred to the issue of security and guarantees. It was also noted that political equality was singled out from the package by the Turkish Cypriot side and could thus not be discussed during dinner.
Nicosia is not worrying about the absence of making a reference to the EU in Guterres’ statement, since no EU involvement is anticipated in the informal five-party meeting that aims to conclude the terms of reference. The EU was involved as an observer during the 2017 Conference on Cyprus, in Crans Montana, where substantial negotiations for a Cyprus settlement took place.
Finally, the issue of hydrocarbons was not raised during dinner or in the sperate meetings that preceded it.
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 July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
(Cyprus News Agency)