United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is seeking to appoint a new personal envoy who will undertake the job of finding out from the two leaders, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci about the prospects of repeating the Cyprus talks, UN sources say.
UN diplomatic sources note that although Antonio Guterres has received an initial briefing from his special representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar on her recent meetings with President Anastasiades and Akinci, he wishes to appoint another official, who has negotiating experience but no previous close engagement with the issue, such as French Jean-Marie Guéhenno, who has been rejected by Turkey because he is from an EU member state.
The same sources say that various names have been floated from countries, among others, such as Canada and Brazil.
Guterres` choice will be announced soon and the appointment will have temporary nature on the basis of indications so far.
In any case, although Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman takes part in the selection process he will not be the chosen one as he steps down at the end of March.
Replying to a question as to who will replace Feltman at the daily press, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General said that "the current thinking is that the process is ongoing".
"If there is someone in time to take his post, then the person will be there in time. If there isn`t, as there always is, when there is an administrative vacuum of leadership, there will be an officer in charge to ensure that the vacuum is filled."
The new appointee will replace the previous envoy Espen Barth Eide who stood down to become a politician in Norway after Cyprus peace talks collapsed in Switzerland last June.