President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades held a meeting on Wednesday morning with the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Cyprus and head of the UN peacekeeping force on the island (UNFICYP), Elizabeth Spehar.
Commenting on the meeting later on Wednesday, Anastasiades said “what was said during the meeting were some remarks we have regarding the report of the Secretary-General, but at the same time some remarks regarding the necessary objectivity that must distinguish the international community and especially the peacekeeping force.”
The meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, Government Spokesman Kyriakos Koushos, the Director of the President’s Diplomatic Office Kyriakos Kouros and Deputy Government Spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas.
Spehar, who also met the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Tuesday, was escorted by her aides.
The 39-page report drafted by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on his mission of good offices in Cyprus was obtained by Kathimerini Cyprus this week, and deals with the progress made between November 2019 and July 2020 towards reaching a consensus starting point for meaningful results-oriented negotiations leading to a settlement.
In his report, Guterres said three years have passed since the intensive talks held in July 2017 at Crans-Montana, making a resumption of negotiations more challenging
Reiterating the position expressed after the informal meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akıncı, in Berlin on 25 November 2019, Guterres said “I will continue to extend my efforts to achieve terms of reference to serve as a consensus starting point for phased, meaningful, and results-oriented negotiations at the earliest feasible opportunity. In this regard, I committed to explore with the Turkish Cypriot leader and the Greek Cypriot leader and with the Guarantor powers the possibility to convene an informal five-plus-UN meeting at an appropriate stage. I underscore the point that this time must be different.”
Guterres also stressed the need for “the leaders, with the support of the Technical Committee on Health and cooperation from relevant authorities on both sides, to work together and develop a comprehensive plan for the full reopening of all points of crossing.”
The UN Security Council is scheduled to convene on July 29 concerning the extension of UNFICYP’s mandate.
Germany holds the chair of the UN Security Council in July and according to the schedule announced by the country’s Ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen, troop-contributing countries will be briefed on July 16 via videoconference.
On July 20, Spehar will brief Security Council members, also via videoconference.