Lute holds ‘productive’ meetings with leaders

UN envoy Jane Holl Lute is to meet both leaders again on Tuesday morning before departing from the island after a brief visit that the two sides have described as productive so far.

Lute will see President Nicos Anastasiades at 8.30 am and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci two hours later. She saw the former on Sunday and the latter on Monday.

In neither instance did she make statements.

Lute is on the island to discuss with the two sides the issue of terms of reference for a new round of talks through a form of shuttle diplomacy.

After meeting Akinci on Monday, his spokesman Baris Burcu said the Turkish Cypriot leader, and the UN envoy had a fruitful meeting during which they discussed in detail the terms of reference.

“We had a productive and detailed meeting on the terms of reference. It seems that the preparation of the terms of reference will continue for some more time,” he said.

Initially the UN chief had asked the leaders to come up with the terms of reference by the end of the year but this is looking less likely, unless the back and forth meetings this week can achieve major progress.

Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou told CNA on Monday: “This is a process that has begun”.

“Consultations are going on to establish the terms of reference together,” he added.

Prodromou also said that at this stage there is no question of Lute submitting a document “which will only emerge when the process comes to a conclusion,” he added.

On Sunday the spokesman said the meeting between Lute and Anastasiades was “creative and productive” both concerning the terms of reference and other critical issues concerning the Cyprus problem.

He did not want to elaborate on what had been discussed or if the government submitted any ideas. “We are currently in the middle of critical consultations concerning the negotiation and the continuation of the (settlement negotiations on the) Cyprus problem and it would be best to avoid unnecessary comments,” he said.

Asked whether Lute had conveyed any encouraging messages from Ankara, following her meeting last Thursday with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Prodromou said she “has a specific role and does not convey messages”.

“There has been a discussion on the terms of reference and, more generally, on the crucial issues of the Cyprus problem,” Prodromou said.

Present at the meeting were Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides, and the chief negotiator on the Greek Cypriot side Andreas Mavroyiannis, Prodromou, and the Director of the President’s Diplomatic Office Kyriakos Kouros.

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