Turkey does not seem willing to attend a five-party meeting on Cyprus this December and points to the period after the April 2020 “elections” in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus for any developments, a government source told CNA.

Ankara conveys this position in diplomatic contacts with third countries, and last week, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu made the same points while meeting with his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias, in Geneva, as CNA learns.

The initial goal was after the informal trilateral meeting with the UN Secretary-General to have an informal five-party meeting, along with guarantor powers Turkey, Greece and the UK, but as the same source said “this is obviously not happening, because Turkey will not attend.” Therefore, the five-party meeting “will not take place in December” and will be postponed for later, the source added.

Nicosia learns that in its diplomatic contacts, Ankara conveys the position that any process in relation to a Cyprus settlement will have to wait for the April “elections” in the northern, Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, the source said.

At the same time, UN envoy Jane Holl Lute is expected in Cyprus to prepare the ground, ahead of the trilateral meeting in Berlin, on November 25. President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades is scheduled to meet with Lute on November 16, in the afternoon. Earlier on the same day, the UN official will also meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

This Wednesday, President Anastasiades is expected to update National Council members about developments, ahead of the informal meeting in Berlin with Guterres and Akinci. He will also refer to information pointing to Turkey’s persistence with the position expressed publicly by the Turkish Foreign Minister last September.

Two months ago, Çavuşoğlu said during an interview with “Kathimerini” that an informal five-party conference to clarify the type of a Cyprus settlement was more important for Ankara and that the terms of reference could be added later.

President Anastasiades travels on Monday to Paris to attend the international Peace Forum, organised by the French Presidency of the Republic. Before going to Berlin for the trilateral meeting, he will also attend the EPP Congress, scheduled to take place in Zagreb, on November 20-21.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. 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.

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