The discussions with the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Cyprus, Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar, were very substantial, President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides said on Friday evening while attending an event in Limassol.
Asked by reporters to refer to his second meeting with Holguin, he said that “we discussed matters of substance, it was a very good meeting, following the first meeting, and at this stage what counts is less talk and more work”.
I believe, he noted, that the personal envoy is on a very good track and that she can help with the aim to resume talks from where they were left off in Crans-Montana”, adding that Ms. Holguin “will have my support in this effort.”
Asked if Holguin had asked for anything today and replying to a remark that she had spoken of very encouraging messages, the President said that she conveyed to him what she had said publicly and that “I had told her in our first meeting that the Cypriot people, the overwhelming majority, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, want the reunification of our country”.
“I am glad that she said this in public, she mentioned it to me in the private meeting we had”, President Christodoulides said, adding that “we touched the essence and actually exchanged views on how we can achieve the one and only goal as soon as possible, which is the resumption of talks.”
Asked if Holguin is asking for anything from the two leaders, he said that within the framework of the talks there is an exchange of views on many issues and added that the only thing that is certain is that “we will not solve the Cyprus problem or achieve the goal of resuming the talks at this stage through public statements”.
“That is why I said earlier, and the envoy said it well on the first day, more work and less statements at this moment,” the President noted, adding that “when something needs to be said publicly, be sure we will do so. I fully agree with what he said after the first meeting we had”.
Asked if he would meet with her again before her departure, the President said he indicated that he would be available to her. He also reminded that the UNSG envoy will be making trips to Greece, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Brussels and the US, adding that when she is back in Cyprus they will definitely meet again.
Asked if she will convey any messages on his behalf, he said that “she will definitely convey messages, there is a discussion and our meetings are not courtesy meetings”.
“They are substantive, we are touching on procedural issues, issues of substance, issues where there has been disagreement how these differences can be addressed. They are substantive, very substantive meetings,” he noted.
To a remark that Ersin Tatar is sticking to his positions, he said the answer to Mr. Tatar is the UN Security Council resolution.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue.