New UN envoy to Cyprus – El Sol de México

By María Luisa Calero

On December 7, Greece and Turkey took a step towards reconciliation during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Athens. At this meeting, a joint declaration of “friendship and good neighborly relations” and “calm seas” was signed, along with some cooperation agreements in areas such as education, trade, agriculture and tourism. These measures significantly reduce sources of tension, foster a more cooperative environment and reflect the determined determination of both countries to strengthen their ties.

In itself, the rapprochement shows Turkey’s interest in approaching the European Union (EU), which had already indicated the possibility of establishing positive relations with Turkey, as long as it demonstrated its commitment to reducing tensions with Greece over the dispute over the Exclusive Economic Zones, renounce the thesis of two separate States in the solution of the Cyprus problem and abandon its threatening policies in the eastern Mediterranean.

Despite positive progress in reducing tensions through collaboration in specific areas, a significant challenge remains in the competing visions between Greece and the European Union, which advocate a unified Cyprus, and Turkey’s stance, which advocates a ” two-state solution.”

It is possible that, within this framework of cooperation, the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar accepted on December 11 the nomination of María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar as envoy of the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to Cyprus. This appointment, sought for months by the Greek Cypriot government and which faced some initial rejections by the Turkish side, paves the way to address the prolonged conflict over the division of the island.

María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar, who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia between 2010 and 2018, in addition to having been head of the Colombian mission to the UN and ambassador to Venezuela, will play a crucial role in Cyprus. Her main task will be to explore common ground between the parties to facilitate a new negotiation process.

Holguín is scheduled to take office on the first day of the new year, with plans to visit New York to meet with the UN Secretary General, followed immediately by a trip to Cyprus. No details have been provided regarding the duration of the mission; However, it is anticipated that it will be for a period of no more than six months, being considered sufficient time to explore whether there is a usual ground for the beginning of a new process of official negotiations.

These rapprochements between Greece and Turkey reflect a significant change in regional dynamics, and the designation of Holguín suggests a joint willingness to seek peaceful solutions and respect international legal frameworks. However, this appointment does not imply the immediate start of new negotiations, but represents a step towards exploring the possibility of finding a mutually acceptable path and moving towards the resumption of talks.

*Holder of the AG Leventis – Anáhuac Chair in Cyprus Studies, Faculty of Global Studies, Anáhuac University. Twitter: @CatedraCypre

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *