UN Secretary General`s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar will hold separate meetings with the leaders, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Wednesday, ahead of a briefing she will give to the UN Security Council next week, UN spokesperson in Cyprus Aleem Siddique has told CNA.

According to Siddique, Spehar “will meet with both leaders tomorrow morning ahead of her briefing to the UN Security Council next week on UNFICYP and the UN Good Offices Mission to Cyprus.”

He said the meeting with President Anastasiades has been set for 0900 hours local time and the meeting with Tatar for 1130 hours local time.

Cyprus President received on Monday the UNSG`s Special Envoy on the Cyprus problem Jane Holl Lute. According to Government Spokesperson Kyriacos Koushos during their meeting, Anastasiades conveyed his readiness to take part in an informal five-party conference in the context of a letter the UNSG sent on October 26, 2020. Koushos also announced that a meeting of the National Council, the country`s top advisory body, would be convened on January 14.

UN chief Antonio Guterres said in his report on his Good Offices Mission, an unofficial copy of which has been circulated to the Security Council, that he intends to invite all sides to a five-plus-one Conference aiming to explore whether common ground exists “to negotiate a sustainable, lasting solution to the Cyprus problem within a foreseeable horizon,” noting however that skepticism regarding the prospects for a return to the peace talks has risen in both communities in Cyprus.

In his report on UNFICYP, an unofficial copy of which has also been circulated to the Security Council, Guterres recommends that the Security Council extend the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for six months, until 31 July 2021, in light of the force’s continued contribution to peace and stability and the creation of conditions conducive to a political settlement.

The UN Security Council is expected to hold a meeting to adopt a resolution on the renewal of UNFICYP`s mandate for another six months, on Thursday, January 28, according to a provisional programme drafted by Tunisia which holds the Council`s Presidency until December 31, 2021.

On January 14 a teleconference will take place between countries which are contributing personnel to UNFICYP, while on Tuesday, January 19 Security Council members will be briefed by Elizabeth Spehar on matters regarding the Force and the good offices mission.

The United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), comprising military and civilian personnel from various contributing countries, arrived in Cyprus in March 1964 after intercommunal fighting broke out. The mandate of the force is renewed every six months by the Security Council. The latest renewal was in January this year.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. 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.

Leave a Reply