Cyprus expects no surprises in UNFICYP report

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President Nicos Anastasiades said current events which “fully justify extending the presence of the peacekeeping force in Cyprus” will be included in the UN Secretary-General’s report on UNFICYP.

Anastasiades on Thursday met Elizabeth Spehar, the UN Secretary-General`s Special Representative in Cyprus and Head of UNFICYP.

Anastasiades said he had a very useful and constructive meeting with Spehar, that aimed at reviewing developments taking place in Cyprus.

He said that ahead of UNFICYP’s mandate renewal, he touched upon some issues “that certainly need to be included in the report” to portray events objectively.

“I believe that at least the significant events affecting the whole situation in Cyprus will be included, which fully justify extending the presence of the peacekeeping force in Cyprus.”

On developments in the region, following the confrontation between Iran and the US, Anastasiades expressed hope that wiser thoughts will prevail, in order to avoid new bloodshed that will affect not just the region, but also Europe as a whole, the global economy and the region’s stability.

Spehar said that she had a good meeting with President Anastasiades, briefing him on her upcoming trip to New York and Washington.

The UN official departs for the United States on Saturday, where a Security Council session on UNFICYP based on the Secretary-General’s report is scheduled for 20 January.

Spehar said the Secretary-General’s report should be out in the next couple of days.

In New York, Spehar will meet senior UN officials, as well as Security Council members and member states who are troop or police contributors to UNFICYP.

“I am looking forward to a good trip during which I hope to have substantive discussions with all of my interlocutors about the situation on the ground and the role of the peacekeeping force in Cyprus and look forward to their discussions on UNFICYP’s mandate renewal.”

Cypriot leaders met UN chief Antonio Guterres in Berlin last November but there has been no movement on the ground since then and there are no plans for UN envoy Jane Holl Lute to visit the island.

Next steps on the Cyprus issue are not expected until after Turkish Cypriot elections in April.

The last round of UN-backed negotiations, in July 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended in failure.