Cyprus wants EU to participate in UN conference

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President Nicos Anastasiades has told EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell that Brussels should take part in an informal UN-led summit on Cyprus to be convened next month in New York.

According to a written statement, Anastasiades held a phone conversation on Monday evening with Borrell whom he briefed on the Cyprus problem.

The President informed the EU’s top diplomat on his recent meeting UN envoy Jane Hall Lute, as well as confidence-building proposals he submitted to UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres.

During the conversation, the President reiterated his strong determination for the resumption of Cyprus talks from where they left off in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana in 2017.

The President asked for Borrell’s support in de-escalating tension in the Eastern Mediterranean and ending Turkey’s provocations.

Borrell said the EU supported the resumption of the Cyprus talks and was ready to assist to this end.

Anastasiades told Lute last week he is ready to attend an informal five-party conference involving Britain, Greece and Turkey to end peace talks deadlock.

UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute is on her second visit to the divided island to find common ground on a Cyprus conference since holding preparatory talks last December.

Government spokesperson Kyriacos Koushios said Lute told Anastasiades that the UN Secretary-General intended to convene a five-party conference in February.

Guterres instructed Lute to consult with all involved parties to determine whether conditions exist to convene an informal 5+1 summit on ending the island’s decades-old division.

Lute is also in consultation with the three guarantor powers Britain, Greece, and Turkey on convening a five-way meeting on the way forward for formal talks to resume.

There have been no official UN-sponsored negotiations on the island’s future since a conference in Switzerland –- also involving Britain, Greece, and Turkey –- collapsed in July 2017.

Guterres is hoping to get the three governments more involved to build momentum that is currently lacking.

In his Good Offices Mission report to the Security Council this month, Guterres said that both the Greek and Turkish Cypriots and the guarantor powers have expressed a willingness to attend an informal conference under his auspices.