Appointment of UN envoy rejected by Tatar

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Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar rejected the appointment of a UN envoy for Cyprus during his meeting with the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in New York.

Tatar also rejected participating in a joint meeting with Guterres and President Nikos Christodoulides.

Guterres also met on Saturday the Turkish Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, who said yes to the appointment of a UN envoy but also rejected a meeting of Antonio Guterres with Christodoulides and Tatar, CNA said.

According to information from the UN Secretariat during his meetings with Fidan and Tatar, the UNSG pushed for the appointment of an envoy.

Fidan’s position clearly favoured such an appointment; however, the Turkish Cypriot leader rejected it and insisted on the issue of “sovereign equality”.

Tatar said he would discuss this issue with Turkey and get back to the UN Secretary-General.

Cyprus government sources have suggested that the aim of Turkey and Tatar’s differing positions on the UN envoy issue was for Ankara to appear positive, while Tatar would have no political cost for his stance.

According to information, Fidan again expressed Turkey’s belief that the UN peacekeeping force’s position on the Pyla buffer zone issue was “biased”.

Nicosia is focusing on interconnecting the Cyprus problem with EU-Turkish relations, conveying the message these relations cannot improve as long as there is no progress in the Cyprus question.

Greece’s position that Greco-Turkish issues cannot be separated from developments on the Cyprus issue, as Ankara wants, is considered important.

President Christodoulides will convene the National Council after he returns to Cyprus from New York to brief political party leaders. (source CNA)