Ιt is the responsibility of leaders to listen to people moving forward, Holguin says

Ιt is the responsibility of the two leaders to listen to what people want as regards moving forward, UNSG personal envoy, Maria Angela Holguin said after meeting Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia.

In her statements at the Presidential Palace after her 8 May meeting with President Christodoulides that lasted around one hour and 15 minutes, Holguin said that they had “a very constructive meeting”.

She also said that her impression, after meeting with civil society groups and the private sector, was that “everybody wants to move forward” and for something to happen on the island.

“I hope that the leaders are listening to the people, civil society, and I think it is the responsibility of the leaders”, she said. Holguin added that this is what she was trying to do, continue working “for this common ground”. “I think the common ground is in the civil society”, she added, noting that we have to ask the leaders, “to move forward”.

Government Spokesperson, Konstantinos Letymbiotis, in his own statements, expressed the Government’s hope that the resumption of negotiations would be possible “in the immediate future”.

He also said that Holguin is to hold another meeting with President Christodoulides on 13 May.

Asked by a journalist if she briefed President Christodoulides about her meetings before her arrival to Cyprus, she replied, “of course”, and that she discussed with him about all her meetings in Washington, Moscow and Europe and talked about many issues.

Referring to her contacts abroad, Holguin said that she also conveyed the support of the international community for a lasting solution in Cyprus. “So, I hope that the leaders see the support of the international community to move forward,” she added.

Letymbiotis, in his own statements, noted that, that it was the first meeting after the Conclusions of the last European Council, “where the Republic of Cyprus together with the EU sent a clear, positive message to Turkey for the interconnection of the EU-Turkey relations with progress in the Cyprus issue”.

He said that Holguin briefed President Christodoulides “about the very important contacts she has had recently, contacts we welcome, contacts that we believe contribute to having this overall picture that is needed, so that the next steps are examined, for the goal of resuming negotiations from the point where they were interrupted, to be achieved.”

Asked if the personal envoy briefed the President about Turkey's reaction, the Spokesperson said that the results of her contacts had been discussed. “What matters right now is to let diplomacy do its job”, he said.

Asked if there was an indication that the Turkish side agrees with the renewal of Holguin’s mandate, Letymbiotis said that the terms of the mandate of the personal envoy derive from the resolutions of the UN Security Council, and that there were no time limitations.

It is the Secretary-General who decides about the duration of the mission of his personal envoy, Letymbiotis, said, reiterating the Government’s position that, “we hope” before the end of the six months, that the resumption of negotiations would be possible “in the immediate future”.

After meeting with President Christodoulides Holguin had a meeting also with Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed Holguín in January as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue. 

(Source: CNA)

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