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EU-Turkey relations linked to the progress of the Cyprus Problem

President Christodoulides has held talks with the Personal Envoy of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General on Cyprus, María Angela Holguín Cuéllar.

Following the meeting, the Government Spokesman, Konstantinos Letymbiotis, told journalists that this was the first meeting after the latest European Council conclusions, in which Cyprus, together with the European Union, sent a clear, positive message to Turkey by linking the EU-Turkey relations to the progress of the Cyprus Problem.

“Ms Holguín has informed the President of the Republic of Cyprus about the very important contacts she had, contacts we welcome, contacts that we believe contribute to the creation of a better overview that is needed for being able to consider the next steps to achieve the objective, which is the resumption of negotiations from the point where they have been interrupted”, Letymbiotis added.

Asked whether Holguín informed about Turkey’s response, the Spokesman noted: “The results of her contacts were discussed. What matters right now is to let diplomacy work. The next meeting between the President of the Republic of Cyprus and Ms Holguín is scheduled for 13 May.”

When asked whether the formula of tête-à-tête meetings is Ms Holguín’s idea or something President Christodoulides imposed, Letymbiotis answered: “No, it is a formula, a composition, which is obviously more beneficial in allowing this frank exchange of views to take place in order to achieve the common goal of the UN and the Republic of Cyprus to resume negotiations. So will be the next meeting that they will have on 13 May.”

Asked if there is any indication that the Turkish side agrees with regard to the renewal of Ms. Holguín’s mission, the Spokesman said that the terms of Ms. Holguín’s mandate are derived from UN Security Council resolutions, and there is no time limit. “The Secretary-General decides by when his personal envoy’s mission will continue,” he said, adding: “What we will say again is that we hope that before the end of six months, in the very near future, it will be possible to resume negotiations.”

Finally, asked about the issue of the US construction of a floating platform in Gaza, the Spokesman said: “It has been completed and is expected to be moved to its intended location as soon as weather conditions permit. The loading of the cargo on a US ship that is in Larnaca is also being completed and once the platform is completed on the ground in Gaza, this stage of the initiative can begin.”

Famagusta Gazette