UN representative to meet with Turkish, Greek Cypriot leaders

Published 09.01.2019 21:11
Updated 09.01.2019 21:19

Elizabeth Spehar, the U.N. secretary-general's special representative on Cyprus, will meet with Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders on Friday before her trip to New York on Jan. 22 to brief the U.N. Security Council on the peacekeeping force about the latest situation in the decades-long crisis.

Spehar, who is also the head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), will meet Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades Friday morning and Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı in the afternoon, UNFICYP Spokesperson Aleem Siddique told Greek Cypriot media. Her trip to New York will also be made ahead of a vote for the renewal of a peacekeeping mandate for another six months on Jan. 30.

On Saturday, Spehar will depart from Cyprus and travel to New York to have meetings with high ranking U.N. officials including U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, and U.N. Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean Pierre Lacroix.

Spehar will also conduct meetings with officials of the countries contributing to the UNFICYP force, as well as with delegations of permanent U.N. Security Council members.

Spehar will brief the Security Council on Jan. 22. The Security Council resolution for the renewal of the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months will be put to a vote on Jan. 30.

Established in 1964, UNFICYP has been one of the longest running U.N. Peacekeeping missions. Its mandate has been renewed every six months since its formation.

Meanwhile, speaking on the Cyprus issue, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Wednesday that European Parliament elections set for this May have forestalled the start of any Cyprus negotiations.

"We support restarting negotiations between the two sides on the island and guarantor states by determining the matters to be discussed beforehand," Çavuşoğlu told Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey used its guarantor rights to intervene on the island after a far-right military coup sponsored by the military junta then in power in Athens seeking to unite the island with Greece toppled President Archbishop Makarios III.

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