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20 June, 2024
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UN's new special envoy heads to Cyprus in early February

Cyprus, USA, UK, and France react to UN appointment

Yiannis Ioannou

Yiannis Ioannou

Unless something unexpected happens, Maria-Angela Cuellar is expected to arrive in Cyprus in the first ten days of February after the formal renewal of the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) by the Security Council (SC) of the organization on January 30.

The new special envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Cyprus issue will have contacts this week with senior officials of the organization at its headquarters in New York - including Mr. Colin Stewart while her appointment was welcomed by the three (permanent) members of the SC, USA, UK and France.

Contacts with the UN leadership
As "K" learns from well-informed sources, Ms. Cuellar is expected to travel to New York and the UN headquarters this Wednesday (note: she is in Colombia), where she is expected, subsequently, to have meetings with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus, Colin Stewart, the Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and America, Miroslav Jenca, the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN responsible for Political and Peacekeeping Affairs, Rosemary Di Carlo, and, of course, the Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

The contacts are considered preparatory in view of her arrival in Cyprus in early February and shortly before the formal announcement of the renewal of the UNFICYP mandate by the SC.

The deputy representative of the UN Secretary-General, Ms. Soto-Nino clarified, when asked if Ms. Cuellar has time limits of mandate due to the insistence of the Turkish Cypriot leadership under Ersin Tatar on the issue, that the special envoy "will seek common ground for the way forward and will provide advice on the Cyprus issue. This is all we have for now".

They welcomed her appointment
The USA, the United Kingdom and France welcomed and officially appointed Ms. Cuellar as the special envoy of the SG to Cyprus. Both the spokesman of the State Department, Matthew Miller with his statement, and the ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield (permanent US representation to the UN) with her post on Twitter welcomed the appointment and praised Ms. Cuellar's experience and their support for the UN's effort to lift the deadlock in the Cyprus issue.

The UK welcomed her appointment with a statement by its permanent representative to the UN and with a joint statement by the Cypriot diaspora in the United Kingdom - which was also composed of representatives of both communities. They stated, characteristically, that they are "clear that only a solution in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council, international law, the EU acquis and human rights will bring a fair and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem".

Support for the appointment of Ms. Cuellar was also addressed by Paris. In a statement by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, it is noted that "we send her our best wishes for success and assure her of our full support". It is worth noting that the other two permanent members of the SC (China and Russia) have not yet officially expressed any reaction to the announcement of Ms. Cuellar's appointment.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  UN  |  USA  |  Turkish  |  Europe

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