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19 July, 2024
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UN top diplomat in Cyprus tries to bring leaders together

Stewart hopes to bring divided island’s leaders together but efforts so far unfruitful

Source: CNA

UN Secretary - General's Special Representative in Cyprus, Colin Stewart, has been trying to bring together Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, however this has not been made possible for the moment.

The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) has learnt that the reason for this is that Tatar has not, for the time being at least, responded positively to the possibility of attending an event or paying a joint visit with Christodoulides. According to sources, one of the UN top diplomat's in Cyprus recent efforts has been to bring the leaders together in the framework of a joint visit to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP).

Christodoulides and Tatar had an informal meeting in late February, before the former assumed his duties officially as President of the Republic. Christodoulides had then extended an invitation to Tatar for a social meeting, however the Turkish Cypriot leader does not seem for the time being to be willing to have a tête-à-tête meeting with Christodoulides.

One of the UN top diplomat's recent efforts has been to bring the leaders together in a joint visit to the Committee on Missing Persons

Meanwhile, Stewart is expected to have separate meetings with the two leaders before departing for New York in July, to inform the UN Security Council about developments related to the Cyprus problem.

In the beginning of July, the UNSG Antonio Guterres' draft reports on his good offices mission in Cyprus and the UN peacekeeping force on the island (UNFICYP) are expected to be distributed to the UNSC members, with a view to hold a discussion on them so that they will be finalised, endorsed and published. However, no resolution for the renewal of UNFICYP's mandate will be adopted since this will now take place only once a year and the force's current mandate is valid until January 31st 2024, according to the Security Council's resolution that was adopted on January 30, 2023.

Based on the practice that is followed each side will submit a document to the UN with its positions, that will be attached to the Secretary General's reports to the Security Council.

Meanwhile, Greek Cypriot negotiator, Menelaos Menelaou, and Turkish Cypriot leader's Special Representative, Ergün Olgun, continue their regular meetings, in Stewart's presence, to discuss issues related to the bicommunal Technical Committees, as well as to generally review the situation and prospects ahead as regards the Cyprus problem.

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.

Cyprus  |  Greek  |  Turkish  |  UN

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