UN searching for common ground

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The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is trying to determine whether there is common ground on what should be achieved at the 5+1 Cyprus conference in Geneva later this month.

In preparation, UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute held on Sunday separate meeting in Cyprus with President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

Everything will depend on the discussions that will take place in Geneva, the same source noted, adding that the procedural issues have not yet been finalized due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a reliable source told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

“Lute has told us that she would meet with the UN Secretary-General before the informal meeting to determine the final arrangements and inform us accordingly,” the source said.

“Everything will depend on the epidemiological outlook just a few days before the finalization of the programme, based on the recommendations by the UN medical team.”

Regarding the EU presence at the meeting, the same source told CNA this is an issue mainly discussed by the EU with Turkey.

Ankara is opposed to an EU official participating in the informal meeting in Geneva, while fellow guarantor powers the UK and Greece have raised no objections.

The Cyprus summit will be on the agenda when Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visits Turkey on Wednesday for talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Afterwards, Dendias is expected to brief Nicosia about those discussions.

Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.

Guterres invited all parties involved to attend an informal five-plus-one meeting on the Cyprus issue in Geneva, Switzerland, from 27 to 29 April.