UN chief says appreciates proposal for unofficial conference on Cyprus

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-11 04:36:00|Editor: Yurou
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NICOSIA, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed a proposal by the leaders of the Cypriot Greek and Turkish communities for an unofficial five-party conference on Cyprus under the auspices of the UN, the two leaders said in separate statements on Saturday.

Spokesmen for President Nicos Anastasiades, representing Greek Cypriots, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, said Guterres responded to a suggestion they made in separate letters to him for a conference on the model of the UN-led conference which collapsed two years ago, leading to the longest hiatus in peace negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus.

The conference had been attended by Anastasiades and Akinci and the foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom in their capacity as guarantor powers of Cyprus.

"The Secretary General expressed his appreciation for the suggestion for an informal conference under the auspices of the United Nations," spokesmen for the two leader said in separate statements but using identical phraseology.

Guterres was responding to letters the two leaders sent him several weeks ago, but he refrained from responding earlier, apparently waiting for the outcome of a scheduled meeting between the two.

Anastasiades and Akinci met on Friday for the first time since February, 2019, and agreed to work for the completion of the terms of reference "that would enable structured and results-oriented negotiations leading to a settlement (of the Cyprus) problem", and also to jointly meet with Guterres in late September to plan the way forward.

Guterres is expected to send again to Cyprus in late August or early September his personal envoy, Jane Holl Lute, for further consultations with Anastasiades and Akinci with a view of preparing a document defining the rules for renewed negotiations.