The need for the UN Secretary General to appoint an envoy for the Cyprus problem as soon as possible was the focus of a telephone conversation between President Nikos Christodoulides and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday.
Government sources told CNA that the conversation took place ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Berlin on Friday, with President Christodoulides again conveying to Scholz the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to return to the negotiating table.
At the same time, the same sources noted indications of possible dissatisfaction of the Turkish side over the incidents in Pyla and the Turkish Cypriot leadership’s handling of the situation, as well as its counterproductive stance on the issue of the appointment of an envoy.
They also underlined the importance of the upcoming milestone of the December European Council, in the context of which Cyprus has shown willingness to discuss the EU-Turkey relations, as long as there is a link with the Cyprus problem, stressing that the lack of any development until December is not a positive evolution, taking into account the fact that the Union links the issue of an EU envoy for the Cyprus problem with the appointment of an envoy by the United Nations.
According to the same information, the UN Secretary General has reportedly come up with three names for the envoy’s position, all of whom are aware of and will give immediate priority to the Cyprus issue, which will allow the person that will be eventually chosen to deal with the issue seriously and intensively.
Members of the Security Council condemned on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, the incidents in the buffer zone, in the village of Pyla, in Larnaca district, with assaults against UN peacekeepers, reiterating their full support for UNFICYP
They also condemned the attacks on UN peacekeepers and the damage to UN vehicles by Turkish Cypriot personnel and wished a speedy and full recovery to the peacekeepers who were injured. They emphasized that “attacks against peacekeepers may constitute crimes under international law and reaffirmed their full commitment to the safety of all UN personnel.”
On Friday August 18, 2023, Turkish Cypriots 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 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.