Cyprus President holding first official meeting with the UNSG in New York

Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides is due to meet with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York on 22 September.

This will be the first official meeting that Nikos Christodoulides will have with Guterres, at the UN headquarters, since his election to the Presidency of the Republic in February this year. The meeting is taking place at a crucial period for the Cyprus Problem, as Nicosia pursues to reactivate the process for a Cyprus settlement, through the appointment of a UNSG envoy, who will look into the prospects for the resumption of dialogue.

Therefore, Christodoulides will reiterate to the UNSG, during the meeting, the request for the appointment of an envoy within the framework of efforts for the resumption of the negotiations from where they were left off, recalling his proposal for a more active engagement of the EU in the Cyprus problem, within the spectrum of the EU-Turkey relations course, and always under the UN auspices.

The Christodoulides-Guterres meeting is scheduled to begin at 12.10pm and is expected to last for approximately 15 minutes. Almost an hour later, at 01.05pm Guterres will meet with the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. 

The efforts for the resumption of the process for the Cyprus question and the need for the appointment of a UNSG envoy will be the focus of a working lunch that President Christodoulides will also host on 22 September for the Permanent Representatives of the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council. The President on 21 September had meetings in New York with officials of two countries that are Permanent Members of the Security Council, the US Deputy Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, and the Vice President of China, Han Zheng, who both expressed their support to the appointment of a UNSG envoy on the Cyprus question. 

Meanwhile, the possibility of a trilateral meeting between Guterres, President Christodoulides, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, is still on the cards, even before the evening of 23 September when Christodoulides is scheduled to depart from New York. The UNSG is scheduled to meet with Tatar on the morning of 23 September. There is also a possibility that a trilateral meeting will not take place now, but that the Secretary-General will invite the two leaders to a joint meeting in the near future, according to diplomatic sources. 

The meeting that Guterres is expected to have with the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Hakan Fidan, will also play an important role as regards the developments in the Cyprus question. Guterres will meet Fidan after his meeting with the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which was going to take place on 20 September, was postponed. 

Fidan on 21 September met with the EU High Representative Josep Borrell in New York. Borrell said in a post on social media that he and Fidan spoke about the next steps in EU-Turkey relations, ahead of the report he will present with the European Commission to the European Council and that they also discussed the highly concerning situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Meanwhile, apart from the meetings with the UN Secretary General, interested parties in the Cyprus problem are also having contacts with other officials of the UN Secretariat. The negotiator of the Greek Cypriot side, Menelaos Menelaou, had on 20 and 21 September meetings in New York with the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, and the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix. 

On the evening of 22 September President Christodoulides and his spouse Philippa Karsera Christodoulides and the members of the Cypriot delegation will travel to Queens to attend a dinner hosted in honour of the President by organisations of the diaspora. 

During the dinner, the organisations will honour the former US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, with the Freedom Award. 

(Source: CNA)

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