Cyprus’ government will continue to undertake initiatives in order to create positive conditions that would lead to the resumption of peace talks, Spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis told the press on Thursday, during a briefing at the Presidential Palace.

The Spokesperson reiterated our side’s sincere will and determination for the resumption of negotiations, based on the agreed framework, adding that we have responded positively to UNSG personal envoy’s proposals for a joint meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar or a meeting of the two negotiators in the envoy’s presence, pointing out that these proposals unfortunately were not accepted by Tatar.

Letymbiotis noted that it is through dialogue that answers can be given to the concerns and worries of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

He also referred to the measures for Turkish Cypriots, announced by the government last January, as well as to the recent European Council conclusions which, he said, sent a clear message about the progress that can be made in EU-Turkey relations, through the progress in the Cyprus problem.

According to the Spokesperson, these initiatives send a positive and constructive message to Turkey in order to make the necessary progress for the impasse to be lifted and for talks to resume.

Replying to a question, the Spokesperson said that we welcome Holguin’s and UNSG’s commitment to the efforts for the resumption of the negotiations.

He added that Holguin will continue her contacts in EU capitals and Ankara and has stated her willingness to continue efforts “which sends a very positive message.”

Replying to a question as to whether he believes there is a difference of opinion between Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot leader, the Spokesperson said that we are well aware that the key to this effort is in Ankara.

He added that it is for this very reason that we believe that through EU-Turkey relations, through our initiative and also through the message sent by the recent European Council, this mutually beneficial state of affairs can exist.

He also said that diplomatic efforts will continue and we must give room to diplomacy to play its role.

Invited to comment on Holguin’s statement that the leaders must listen to the civil society, Letymbiotis said that while of course we condemn the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation, what the personal envoy means is that we need to listen to what society has to say.

He added that a debate with all spectrums of the society is in the right direction.

The Spokesperson said that Holguin has a meeting in June with the SG adding that there is no further information about her next steps.

He also said that the government is in contact with Lebanon on the matter of migration, adding that we are constantly monitoring the issue of migration influxes. He added that very specific measures have been taken to this end and the results are tangible.

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 Columbia in January 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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