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06 April, 2020
 
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President downplays reports on UN envoy July visit

Anastasiades remains hopeful for new consultations but says no dates were discussed

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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades dismissed reports in the Greek Cypriot press regarding a possible UN envoy visit in July, clarifying the UN Secretariat has only asked whether he would consent to a new UN special envoy.

According to Kathimerini Cyprus, citing a well informed source on Thursday, UN officials sounded out both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on a special envoy visit, with dates indicating between 9 and 12 July.

But Anastasiades, who was attending an event at the Russian Embassy Thursday evening, said such scenario was not discussed.

“No, there was nothing of that sort,” the president said.

“We were asked, as it is well known, whether we would agree on an assignment of a UN special envoy to explore the current situation"

“We were asked, as it is well known, whether we would agree on an assignment of a UN special envoy to explore the current situation so that the Secretary General might decide whether or not he would call a new meeting on the Cyprus problem,” Anastasiades said on Thursday.

The president reiterated his position that he remained hopeful that a special envoy would start consultations on the Cyprus peace process following the general elections in Turkey.

“I want to point out that it was several months ago that the Secretary General made the attempt. He had recommended yet another individual, besides the current one, that Turkey had rejected. Turkey is the only party which has not responded,” he said.

Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said two things were crucial in assigning a new special envoy.

“Timing and the envoy,” Dujarric said, adding that “when we feel the time is right for both of those things, we will move forward.”

Jane Holl Lute, a former US Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, recently emerged as the most likely candidate to succeed former UN special envoy Espen Barth Eide. 

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