CNA News

UN Secretary General’s Envoy willing to contribute to resumption of Cyprus talks

The UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Cyprus, María Angela Holguín Cuellar, has expressed her readiness to contribute to the resumption of talks on the Cyprus issue and the search for common ground between the two sides, following her first meeting with the President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulides, in Nicosia.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Colombian envoy said she was excited for her mission, noting her experience in her country that managed to resolve a 50-year conflict through a peace agreement, saying she was part of the team that achieved that.

“I think I can collaborate and do my best to achieve good results for Cyprus,” she said.

Holguín conveyed satisfaction with the efforts made over decades for the Cyprus issue and pledged to provide fresh impetus to the process and do her utmost. Responding to further questions from journalists, she pointed out that less talk allows her to work more.

The meeting at the Presidential Palace lasted about an hour, followed by a brief one-on-one meeting lasting approximately 20 minutes between Holguín and President Christodoulides.

As CNA has learnt, Holguín aims to have a partner with a permanent presence in Cyprus and to visit the island regularly for a series of meetings. In addition to her meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, Holguín is scheduled to meet with Greek Cypriot negotiator Menelaos Menelaou on Thursday. She also plans to meet with members of civil society from all districts of Cyprus to gain a better understanding of the Cyprus issue.

Holguín is expected to have another meeting with the President before leaving Cyprus, and there is a possibility of a joint meeting with both leaders before the conclusion of her first visit to the island. She is also set to hold meetings in Athens, Ankara, and Brussels before her next visit to Cyprus.

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 María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia 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.