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UN chief, EU official to attend Geneva summit

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will host next week’s informal Cyprus meeting in Geneva, his first such event since the pandemic began a year ago.

On 27 April, the Secretary-General will have bilateral meetings with the parties involved; there will be an opening reception.

The second day begins with a meeting of the plenary.

In the afternoon, Guterres will have several bilateral meetings with the guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey, Britain) and the two Cyprus leaders, to be followed by a dinner in the evening.

On the third day, more bilateral meetings will take place and possibly a tripartite meeting between the UN Secretary-General and the Cypriot leaders and a concluding plenary session.

Guterres said he is prepared to stay longer if the meeting proves to be constructive.

Apart from the two leaders and the Foreign Ministers of the guarantor powers, an EU representative will also be in Geneva – without taking part in the conference – and will hold bilateral meetings.

Angelina Eichhorst, Managing Director for Western Europe, Western Balkans, Turkey, and the UK at the European External Action Service, will represent the EU.

There is no provision for the presence of the EU representative in any of the meetings.

Guterres acknowledges that everyone is attending to say the things they want to say, but equally to listen.

UN envoy Jane Holl Lute suggested the meeting to the Secretary-General, deeming it worth knowing whether there is a common vision or not.

To the extent a common vision is deemed to exist, the UN will try to see whether the parties can agree on a procedure to reach this vision.

Guterres has called on participants to speak openly and present ideas at the table, be creative, decisive, flexible, and see whether elements of a common vision exist.

There will be no negotiation in Geneva, but an informal meeting, to see whether there is common ground to resume stalled peace talks.

“Since there will be no negotiation, there will be no effort on the part of the Secretary-General to bridge differences,” diplomatic sources said.

“If he can offer ideas which might serve this purpose, he will do so, but he will not try to bridge differences. It is up to the parties to do.”

The next move after Geneva will depend on the results of the informal 5+1 meeting; there could even be a joint communique.

The UN Secretary-General invited all parties involved to attend an informal five-plus-one meeting on the Cyprus issue in Geneva, Switzerland, from 27-29 April. (source CNA)