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UK Foreign Secretary to visit before Cyprus summit

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British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will pay a short visit to Cyprus to hold meetings on February 4 to plan the way forward ahead of a UN conference on reviving the peace process.

It is the first visit of a British Foreign Secretary to Cyprus since Boris Johnson (now the Prime Minister) came in 2016.

Raab will hold talks with President Nicos Anastasiades, the UN chief of mission Elizabeth Spehar, Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, CNA reported.

Raab’s discussions are expected to focus on the informal 5+1 meeting on the Cyprus problem which the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, is expected to convene in early March.

He will most likely represent his country at the meeting as the three guarantor powers Greece, Turkey and the UK will participate with their Foreign Ministers.

CNA said that Raab will have a private meeting with his Cypriot counterpart to be followed by expanded talks of their respective delegations.

Apart from the Cyprus problem, Christodoulides and Raab are expected to discuss bilateral relations after Brexit, the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and regional issues.

The British Foreign Secretary will also discuss the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) mandate and its role as Britain is a major troop contributor.

Britain also retains two sovereign military bases on the island since Cyprus gained independence from British rule in 1960.

Raab will meet with Tatar in the Turkish occupied north, early in the afternoon on February 4, before leaving the island. (source CNA)