News Local It is up to the UN Secretary General to plan the next...

It is up to the UN Secretary General to plan the next steps, government says

It is up to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to plan the next steps on the Cyprus problem, for which he will discuss with Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci during their joint meeting in Berlin on November 25, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Saturday.

In statements to the media, Prodromou said it was important that the Secretary General continues his initiative on Cyprus and noted that President Anastasiades and the Greek Cypriot side seek the resumption of substantive negotiations within the appropriate climate. “What we expect is a change in the stance of the Turkish side which has prevented during the last two years the resumption of the negotiations,” the Government Spokesman said.

He noted that the aim of the meeting which the UN Secretary General will have with Anastasiades and Akinci in Berlin was to discuss the next steps in the framework of the effort to solve the Cyprus problem.

Asked if the UNSG’s special envoy Jane Holl Lute continues at the same time her consultations with the guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey and the UK), the Spokesman said that according to the information that they have Lute continues to hold contacts.  He also noted that there may be a new contact with Lute before the meeting of November 25th.

Moreover, the Spokesman recalled that the UNSG considers that there must be a good preparation before the resumption of the negotiations, something which President Anastasiades has welcomed and considers as very important, “because we do not want what happened during the last Conference on Cyprus to be repeated.”

Replying to a question, Prodromou reiterated President Anastasiades’ political will, noting that “what we expect is a change in the stance of the Turkish side which has prevented during the last two years the resumption of the negotiations.”

Moreover, the spokesman said that President Anastasiades will hold meetings with the Greek Premier and the President of the Hellenic Republic and most probably with the head of the Greek opposition next week in Athens where he will be attending the EU – Arab States Summit. He stressed that there was a continuous and very close coordination with the Greek government.

Asked about a letter which Turkey circulated to the UN, alleging that an “ethnic cleansing” was carried out by Greek Cypriots against Turkish Cypriots from 1963 to 1974, the Spokesman said that the Foreign Ministry was dealing with this issue. He said that this was another unacceptable, historically inaccurate and baseless action by Turkey, which aims to create a climate of tension or even justify the occupation of Cyprus.

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

(Cyprus News Agency)

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