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Realistic UN tells parties to be ‘creative’ in Geneva

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UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, is realistic about what can be achieved at the Geneva summit but urged Greek and Turkish Cypriot parties to be creative.

“The Secretary-General is realistic. This is an issue that he knows well. He has participated in discussions before, so he is realistic,” his spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said on Tuesday.

“The purpose of the meeting will be to determine whether common ground exists for the parties to negotiate a lasting solution to the Cyprus issue within a foreseeable horizon.”

He said the Secretary-General would move forward based on the outcomes of the informal talks.

“The parties are welcomed to be creative, and the Secretary-General will be encouraging them to use diplomatic language in a sincere and frank manner.”

Dujarric said the UN chief decided to organise the summit following the consultations conducted over several months by his envoy Jane Holl Lute.

“As we have repeatedly said, the purpose of the meeting will be to determine whether common ground exists for the parties to negotiate a lasting solution to the Cyprus issue within a foreseeable horizon.”

Informal discussions get underway on Tuesday afternoon when Guterres will hold separate bilateral talks with the Cypriot leaders.

Tuesday evening, the Secretary-General will host a reception for the heads of delegations.

On Wednesday, the Secretary-General will host a plenary meeting with the five parties, including the foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey and the UK.

He’s expected to hold bilateral meetings with each of the five delegations in the afternoon.

There will be nothing from the Secretary-General until the informal meeting concludes.

“The Secretary-General will move forward on the outcomes of these informal talks. Let`s wait to see what the outcome is before we discuss anything else.”

Guterres invited officials of the two communities in Cyprus and the foreign ministers of Turkey, Greece and Britain to attend the Geneva-based talks this week to resume peace negotiations that collapsed in mid-2017.

Leading their respective delegation at the summit are Cypriot leaders Nicos Anastasiades and Ersin Tatar, Foreign Minister of Turkey, Mevlut Çavuşoğlu, Foreign Minister of Greece, Nikos Dendias and the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, Dominic Raab.