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Low expectations for a new Cyprus conference date to be set by the UN chief after Friday’s meetings

Low are the expectations for a breakthrough in efforts to reunite divided Cyprus from Friday’s scheduled separate meetings in Brussels between the UN chief and the two community leaders.

And that Antonio Guterres’ reported goal to set a new date for a Cyprus conference in the Fall appears to be ‘mission impossible’.

The UN chief was originally scheduled to meet only with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades on the sidelines of the EU summit but strong presentations by the Turkish Cypriot side led to a change of plans.

A last minute meeting between UN’s Antonio Guterres and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin  Tatar was arranged through UN special envoy on Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute, who left the island on Wednesday.

Insiders told Philenews Guterres does not wish to hear again the positions of the two sides but wants to find ways to set a new date for a Cyprus conference in the Fall.

And that during his meetings in Brussels, the UN chief will most probably raise the possibility that all concerned parties in the Cyprus problem should come together in New York in September.

Cyprus is divided since 1974 following an invasion by Turkey which still maintains troops in the breakaway northern part. UN-brokered reunification efforts throughout the years have yielded no results.

The Turkish side now demands a different base of negotiations, away from UN resolutions and other high-level agreements – something unacceptably for Nicosia, the UN and the EU where Cyprus is a member.

Meanwhile, Nicosia announced on Wednesday Anastasiades will discuss with Guterres the whole spectrum of the Cyprus issue and will put forth again the positions of the Greek Cypriot side.

Tatar reportedly had said that if Guterres was meeting Anastasiades, he should also, arguing that the UN should observe the principle of equality.

Lute was on the island trying to find common ground for the continuation of the Cyprus problem process after an informal unsuccessful conference held in Geneva last April.


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