UN envoy ends mission in Nicosia without announcing resumption of Cyprus negotiations

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-05 03:13:16|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NICOSIA, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- A United Nations envoy ended a mission in Nicosia on Monday, without announcing a resumption of the Cyprus peace negotiations.

Jane Holl Lute, tasked by the UN Secretary General to draft the terms of reference for the resumption of the negotiations, ended a second round of meetings with the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. She is expected to return to New York on Tuesday.

Cypriot government spokesman, Prodromos Prodromou, when asked whether an agreement had been reached on the terms of reference of the negotiations, said that Lute would like to contact the guarantor powers of the eastern Mediterranean island -- Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

"During her consultations, issues relating to the guarantor powers were raised and it is natural for Mrs. Lute to get in touch with them," Prodromou said.

He added that it is up to Lute when she will have contacts with officials of the three countries.

Turkey has publicly said that it does not wish the negotiations to restart before May because of elections for European Parliament deputies in Cyprus and Greece.

Prodromou said he did not know when Lute will be back in Cyprus.

The UN Security Council has requested the UN Secretary General to report to it on efforts to resume the Cyprus negotiations by April 15.

Prodromou said that President Anastasiades, who acts as leader of the Greek Cypriot community, would like to start negotiations even today.

But in the absence of an agreement he will get in touch with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for a face-to-face talk, Prodromou said.

That would be the first meeting of the two leaders since April, 2018, when they last met at dinner, with Akinci refusing even to be photographed with Anastasiades.

Anastasiades met with Lute late in the afternoon and told her of his wish to meet with Akinci.

The Turkish Cypriot leader, Akinci, who met Lute earlier in the day, told her that the Turkish Cypriot side insists on "political equality", which he described as participation of Turkish Cypriots in every decision.

Turkish Cypriots make up 20 percent of the population, but Akinci said in a written statement that "no majority-minority relationship can exist in a federal state".

He said that he will never back down from his demand for "political equality".

Greek Cypriots say that they will never accept a deal that would not do away with Turkish guarantee and intervention rights in Cyprus and would not end the presence Turkish occupation troops on the eastern Mediterranean island.