Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said on Monday that the meeting held between President of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides and UNSG’s personal envoy for Cyprus Maria Angela Holguin was a very constructive one, adding that the President reiterated his readiness for the resumption of the Cyprus talks or at least for a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader.

In his statements to journalists after the meeting held at the Presidential Palace, Letymbiotis said that “the meeting was very constructive and the President of the Republic reiterated to Ms. Holguin the readiness of our side for the resumption of negotiations or even for a meeting with Mr. Tatar in the presence of Ms. Holguin”.

He said that Holguin will leave on Tuesday and noted  that “we await her next visit to Cyprus and we will certainly await the results of the very important meeting today between the Greek Prime Minister and the Turkish President.”

Replying to questions, Letymbiotis said that “this is Holguin’s third visit to Cyprus, she had also held very important meetings in the meantime both in European capitals and in Ankara. She has formed an opinion as to what the next steps should be in order to make the necessary progress in the Cyprus issue and these are the ones being discussed with the President of the Republic, I imagine they are the ones she will also discuss with Tatar shortly”.

According to the Presidency, a journalist asked if Holguin has urged the President of the Republic to take some further actions, and the Spokesperson said “I don’t think she is urging the President of the Republic, after all the least that should be done during her stay in our country is a meeting between the President of the Republic and Mr. Tatar. Dialogue is not only the first step, it is the obvious step that should have already been taken”.

“We reiterate our will and intention for such a meeting to take place, because it is through dialogue that all concerns can be resolved”, he stressed.

Asked if there is a timeframe for Holguin’s return to Cyprus and if her visits to Cyprus have ended, he said that “we do not have such an information. Holguin is a personal envoy of the UNSG to whom she reports and with whom she has constant communication. The UN Secretary-General himself wishes to be informed by her on any progress in the efforts to restart the negotiations. We will wait to see when her next visit to our country will be.”

Asked whether the Report that Holguin will submit to the UNSG will assign any responsibilities, the Letymbiotis said that “it is not a matter of assigning responsibility, the issue in this effort of the UNSG himself through his personal envoy is to create the conditions for the resumption of negotiations”.

Our side, he said, “has undertaken those initiatives to send, not only the positive messages, but also to create a positive climate regarding the course of the resumption of negotiations and with the announcement of the 14 measures for our Turkish Cypriot compatriots and through the Conclusions of the last European Council concerning EU-Turkey issues.”

“Let’s wait for the results of the very important meeting of the Greek Prime Minister today”, he said, referring to the meeting with the Turkish President.

Asked if Holguin has requested anything additional from President Christodoulides, the Spokesman said that “nothing more has been discussed, they discussed the outcome of her contacts and the next steps”.

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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