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28 May, 2024
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UN envoy appointment sparks tensions in New York talks

Turkish Cypriot leader refuses UN meeting

Newsroom / CNA

The appointment of a UN envoy on Cyprus was rejected by Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, during his meeting on Saturday with the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres in New York. Tatar also did not accept to participate in a joint meeting with Guterres and Cyprus President, Nikos Christodoulides.

Guterres also met on Saturday in New York with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, who said yes to the appointment of a UN envoy but also rejected a meeting of Antonio Guterres with Christodouldes and Tatar, CNA has learned.

According to information from the UN Secretariat during his meetings with Fidan and Tatar, the UNSG pushed for the appointment of an envoy on Cyprus. Fidan's position was clearly in favour of such an appointment, however the Turkish Cypriot leader rejected it and insisted on the issue of "sovereign equality". Tatar said that he would discuss this issue with Turkey and come back to the UN Secretary General on Monday.

Cyprus government sources have suggested that the aim of the position which the Turkish FM and the Turkish Cypriot leader maintained on the issue of the UN envoy, was for Ankara to appear as having a positive approach and Tatar as being the one who does not want this appointment, noting that that latter will not have any cost for his stance.

Also according to information, during his visit with the UN Secretary General the Turkish FM expressed once again Turkey's belief that the UN peace keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) position on the issue of the buffer zone in Pyla area was biased.

In light of the situation that is being formed after the contacts which the interested parties have had with the UN Secretary-General in New York, Nicosia is focusing on interconnecting the Cyprus problem with the EU - Turkish relations course, conveying the message the these relations cannot move on as long as there is no progress in the Cyprus question.

In this framework, Greece's position that the course of the Greco-Turkish issues cannot be separated from developments on the Cyprus issue, as Ankara wants to, is considered to be important.

President Christodoulides will convene the National Council the soonest possible after he returns to Cyprus from New York to brief political party leaders about his meetings there and the situation that is being formed.

Meanwhile steps are being taken to expand trilateral schemes of Cyprus and Greece with Israel, Jordan and Egypt to 3+1 schemes.

Foreign Minister, Constantinos Kombos, among others, participated, while in New York, in trilateral meetings with these countries FMs and his Greek counterpart.

As it has already been announced consultations have begun for expanding the trilateral scheme with Israel to a 3+1 scheme with the participation of India. CNA has learned that discussions are also underway to expand the trilateral scheme with Jordan, with the participation of another country of the region, and the trilateral scheme with Egypt with the participation of France.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

On Friday August 18, 2023, men of the occupation regime punched and kicked a group of international peacekeepers who obstructed crews illegally working on a road that would encroach on a UN controlled buffer zone.

The attack happened as peacekeepers stood in the way of work crews building a road to connect the Turkish occupied village of Arsos with the mixed Greek Cypriot-Turkish Cypriot village of Pyla, inside the buffer zone.

Cyprus  |  UN  |  government  |  Turkey

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