UN-brokered Cyprus peace talks postponed due to pandemic: Cypriot FM

2021-02-09 15:35:32 GMT2021-02-09 23:35:32(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

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NICOSIA, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- The launching of a new Cyprus peace effort by the United Nations scheduled for early March seems to have been postponed because of the global coronavirus pandemic, Cyprus' Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said on Tuesday.

He told CyBC radio that UN Secretary-General's special envoy on Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute, called him late on Monday night to tell him that initial dates and the venue for an international conference on Cyprus were no longer valid.

"She told me that this development came up because of restrictions in New York as a result of the coronavirus pandemic," Christodoulides said.

The conference under the aegis of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had been tentatively planned for the first week of March at his UN residence.

The meeting would bring together the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities of Cyprus and the foreign ministers of Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom, which signed as guarantor powers a 1960 international treaty concerning the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus.

Christodoulides sidestepped a question about press reports that the conference was postponed because Turkey wanted the conference to be convened after a European Union (EU) summit in March. The summit would examine whether Ankara had complied with conditions set down by the EU leaders in relation to its natural gas exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean.

Christodoulides stressed that the important thing is to get practical results out of the conference. Enditem