The UN Secretary – General’s Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute will visit Cyprus again in November for the required preparation that will lead to the meeting of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres with the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci at the end of November, to be followed by an informal five-party conference, with the participation of the three guarantor powers, namely Greece, Turkey and the UK, with a view to pave the way for the resumption of the negotiations on the Cyprus problem.
A well-informed source has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that a conclusion on the terms of reference, on which Lute’s efforts have been focusing, seems to be within reach. It seems that we are now moving towards the resumption of the negotiations the same source noted, adding that apart from Lute’s effort, the UNSG’s contribution is deemed as necessary to the whole process since Lute’s shuttle diplomacy in September, during her last visit to Cyprus, did not result in the formulation of the terms of reference.
Moreover, the source said that Guterres’ meeting with Anastasiades and Akinci, expected to take place in Europe, may reach a conclusion on the terms of reference but the UNSG may announce the terms of reference during the informal five-party conference, which the EU is expected to attend as an observer.
The same source said that the Greek Cypriot side has made it clear to the United Nations that the terms of reference will be agreed by the two sides but it would be better if the guarantor powers also express their commitment to them.
This aims at preventing the possibility of the Turkish side bringing up the issue of discussing another base for a solution than the bi-communal, bi-zonal federation, as this base is the one provided in the Joint Declaration of February 11th, 2014, the same source noted, recalling that the Greek Cypriot side’s position is that the three pillars that must comprise the terms of reference are the Joint Declaration of February 11th, the convergences reached at the negotiations, and the UNSG’s Framework with its six parameters as outlined in Crans-Montana.
The three points are the Joint Declaration, the convergences and the six parameters, provided that there will not be again an attempt (by the other side) to include other issues in the terms of reference that will need to be discussed, the source concluded.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.