Both the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar have agreed to attend a planned UN reception to be held at Ledra Palace on December 14 at 1900. The reception will be held in honor of Colin Stewart, the new UNSG Special Representative and Head of the UN Peacekeeping force on the island. Mr. Stewart arrived earlier this week to assume his duties, replacing Elizabeth Spehar.
"We confirm that we have responded positively to the UN about holding this reception, and we are ready to participate," Cyprus Government Spokesman, Marios Pelekanos, told CNA, adding that the issue is expected to be discussed during a meeting which President Anastasiades will have on Friday, December 10, at 0900, with Stewart at the Presidential Palace.
This will be an acquaintance meeting, during which President Anastasiades is expected to inform the UN official about the positions of the Greek Cypriot side as regards the resumption of the negotiating process for a Cyprus settlement.
Stewart will also have on Friday, at 1300, a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar. Tatar's office in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus has already announced that the Turkish Cypriot leader will attend the UN reception if the epidemiological situation allows it.
Meanwhile, Stewart visited on Wednesday morning the buffer zone in Nicosia as part of his familiarization with the area. According to a UN Cyprus post, on Twitter, he was accompanied by UNFICYP`s Force Commander, Ingrid Gjerde, and UN Police Senior Police Advisor, Satu Koivu. He also met with UN peacekeepers who monitor the area.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Numerous rounds of talks under the UN aegis to reunite the island under a federal roof failed to yield results.