President tells UN doing his best for talks restart

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President Nicos Anastasiades said the Greek Cypriot side is ready to resume Cyprus negotiations during his first meeting on Friday with Colin Stewart, the new UN envoy and head of the peacekeeping mission (UNFICYP).

Stewart said he would do his best to help the process on the Cyprus issue, noting that it is too early to say if he is optimistic or not.

In a written statement, government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said Anastasiades presented the positions of the Greek Cypriot side on the Cyprus issue, reiterating the will and commitment for the resumption of the negotiation process.

During the first meeting, the President welcomed Stewart in Cyprus and wished him success in his new duties.

He also briefed Stewart extensively on the illegal actions of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus and the need to reverse what was done in Varosha.

Pelekanos states that President Anastasiades accepted the invitation of Stewart to attend a reception that will be held by UNFICYP next Tuesday at Ledra Palace.

“I am very grateful for the warm welcome; I look forward to working closely with both sides and doing what I can to be helpful to the process and working constructively with partners all across the island,” Stewart said afterwards.

Later Friday, he meets Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar and next week, he hosts an informal reception.

“I hope it will be another chance to get to know the leaders better, let them have some time among themselves as well and hopefully get off to a good start, and I, as I said, I am very happy to be here.

“I am still learning. But what I do know is that I will do my very best efforts to help the process and to have the UN play a constructive role.”