UN Envoy’s Visit Sparks Hope for Progress in Cyprus

Maria-Angela-Holguin-Cuellar - new UNSG rep in Cyprus
[UNSG Personal Representative – Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar]
After completing her diplomatic visits to Berlin, Paris, and Brussels, the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Representative, Maria Angela Holguin, who received an invitation from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, is scheduled to visit Moscow on Thursday, followed by a trip to Cyprus on Tuesday, Kibris Postasi reports.

During her upcoming visit to the island, Holguin aims to facilitate a joint meeting between President Ersin Tatar and Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Christodoulides.

There are indications from Greek Cypriot weekly ‘Kathimerini’ that this potential trilateral meeting might lead to a larger five-party gathering in September, possibly with the attendance of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The success of such a meeting largely depends on the Turkish side’s cooperation.

The timing of Holguin’s visit is noteworthy, coinciding with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s visit to Ankara on May 13. It’s speculated that Holguin might use this opportunity to reinforce diplomatic messages, particularly concerning the activation of processes discussed during his visits to Paris, Brussels, and Berlin.

Holguin’s proposal for a joint meeting with Tatar and Christodoulides during his May 7-14 stay on the island is expected to be crafted in a manner that makes refusal difficult for both parties. The meeting, if realised, could signify progress in softening the stark differences in the parties’ stances, with potential implications for Holguin’s term ending in September.

The newspaper suggests that key diplomatic moves could include the evolution of the proposed trilateral meeting into a five-party summit with Guterres’s involvement in September, along with a review of the Guterres Framework and the issuance of a joint statement by the two leaders, reminiscent of the 2014 summit that spurred momentum between 2016-2017.

There’s speculation within UN circles about potential political shifts in the coming months, possibly leading to early elections in the TRNC. Any leadership changes in the Turkish Cypriot community could impact the trajectory of the Cyprus problem-solving process.

Kibris Postasi

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