A meeting between UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, scheduled for April 5, is deemed to be important, the President of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, said on Monday. Noting his recent meeting with the UN Secretary-General in Brussels, where the chief of the international organization conveyed certain proposals, which the President accepted, Christodoulides expressed hope that there would be a positive response from the Turkish side as well.

In statements after an event in Nicosia to commemorate the national anniversary of 1st April 1955, the President was asked what developments he anticipates in the Cyprus issue during April, with the upcoming meeting of the Turkish Cypriot leader with the UN Secretary General on the 5th of the month and the visit of the personal envoy of the UN Secretary General, María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, to Cyprus.

He pointed out that the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, had conveyed to him during their recent meeting in Brussels, and before that also via Holguín, certain proposals and expressed hope that “there will be a response from the other side” to the proposals he has already accepted. In this context, he added, he considers the meeting that will take place on April 5 in New York to be important.

When asked if he has been in contact with Holguín, the President of the Republic responded positively, while stressing that the most important thing in the coming days is Guterres’ meeting with Tatar. As he said, “Tatar should also respond and I hope he will respond positively to the UN Secretary General’s proposal.”

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.

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