Any claims against the appointment by the UN Secretary – General of an envoy on the Cyprus issue are unsubstantiated and should not prevent such a development, President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides told the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during a telephone conversation they had late on Tuesday.

As Government Spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis said in a written statement, during the conversation the President of the Republic, “after thanking the UN Secretary General for the efforts he is making to resume the talks, as well as for his stated commitment to the efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the agreed framework, he stressed the need for the appointment of an envoy as soon as possible to explore the prospects of resuming the talks, underlining the need for the whole process to take place as soon as possible”.

The President also pointed out, according to the Spokesperson, “that any claims against the appointment of an envoy have no substance and should not prevent such a development”.

Furthermore, Letymbiotis said that President Christodoulides stressed the need for the immediate implementation of what has been agreed regarding Pyla and the implementation of all the provisions of the understanding reached with the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

Referring to the efforts to create a maritime corridor for the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, the President of the Republic, following the letter he sent to the UN Secretary General, dated 7 November 2023, and the relevant discussions he had in Paris with the head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, informed the UN Secretary-General, according to Letymbiotis, “about the technical consultations on the issue and in particular about the outcome of the meetings at the technocratic level between Cyprus and Israel”.

Finally, President Christodoulides briefed the UN Secretary-General on the readiness of the Republic of Cyprus to host a regional operational centre for the coordination of the international community’s actions in relation to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Letymbiotis concluded.

Works were being carried out until noon on Monday November 6 on the basis of an understanding reached for Pyla, but were temporarily halted in order to resolve complaints by some Turkish Cypriot land owners, who believe that their plots are affected.

In August 2023, the Turkish Cypriot side unilaterally announced its intention to build a road through the buffer zone between the villages of Pyla and occupied Arsos. Turkish Cypriots and settlers entered the buffer zone and attacked personnel and vehicles of UNFICYP. A peacekeeper was punched in the face.

The international community, including five permanent members of the UN Security Council, condemned the attack. Later on, an understanding was reached which provides that a single urban development area will be created, which will ensure the harmonious coexistence of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in the area of Pyla and, will include, among other things, a large area of residential development, the paving of a road leading towards Troulloi village, the creation of photovoltaic parks and the expansion of the urban use area of the village.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Numerous rounds of peace talks under the UN aegis failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations took place in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans Montana.

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