Hours after the UN envoy on Cyprus left the divided island on Monday the organisation announced in New York that the informal 5+1 meeting in Geneva on April 27-29 is going ahead in person.
Jane Hall Lute’s latest consultations in Nicosia were in preparation for the UN-brokered informal meeting whose goal is the re-launch of stalled reunification talks.
A spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres also said: “These consultations are in preparation for the informal 5+1 meeting that will be held in Geneva, that the SG is planning to convene from the 27-29 of April.
“The meeting is going ahead in person. We are very grateful to the Swiss authorities for their support in allowing us to host a meeting in premises. The Swiss are very helpful to us on hosting talks also in different issues.”
Lute has already sent the programme of the Geneva meeting to the leaders and as it became known it will kick off with a dinner to be hosted by Antonio Guterres for all participants on April 27.
The informal meeting with the participation of the Greek Cyprus and Turkish Cypriot sides as ell as representatives of the island’s three guarantors – Greece, Turkey and the UK – will take place the next day. Bilateral consultations and a fresh meeting are also on the agenda.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 following an invasion by Turkey which still maintains troops in the breakaway northern part of the EU member state. The EU is also going to be attending the Geneva meeting but only as a observer.
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.