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UN chief to appoint special advisor to probe resumption of Cyprus peace talks

Xinhua,May 03, 2018 Adjust font size:

NICOSIA, May 2 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has notified his intention to appoint a special advisor to probe the prospects of resuming the stalled Cyprus peace negotiations, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said Wednesday.

Sources said Guterres appointed Jane Holl Lute to the post. Lute was formerly special coordinator on improving the UN's response to sexual exploitation and abuse.

Anastasiades issued a statement saying he was in favor of the decision after Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci asked him to clearly state that he accepted Guterres' framework.

Akinci indicated that if Anastasiades accepted the framework, they could announce what he called a "strategic agreement" on how to settle core issues of the Cyprus problem that caused the collapse of negotiations eight months ago.

Anastasiades said Akinci's acceptance was a positive development, but urged the Turkish Cypriot leader and Turkey to publicly state they accepted all of the frameworks provisions.

"My mention that it was a positive development was not a cursory one, because it is well known that the cause of the crash of the negotiations at Crans Montana was that the positions of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots were diametrically opposite (to the Guterres framework)," Anastasiades said.

Guterres submitted his framework on July 4, 2017 and invited the parties to make their comments on his proposals for territorial adjustments, power sharing, the future of properties left behind by their owners when Turkey took military action in 1974, movement and establishment of residence, and on security and guarantees.

Turkey continues to station about 40,000 troops on the part of Cyprus it occupied in 1974, in reaction to a coup engineered by the military rulers of Greece at the time.

Anastasiades and Akinci have been inching closer to the resumption of negotiations in recent days, after nationalist elements on the Turkish Cypriot side started talking in favor of a two-state solution instead of a federal settlement, which has been the target of the negotiations for more than four decades. Enditem