The President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, received today Friday, at the Presidential Palace, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar.
After the meeting, Spehar told reporters that “I have met with Mr Anastasiades and other officials about the upcoming Security Council session and also about the upcoming consultations that will be undertaken on behalf of the Secretary-General by Jane Hull Lute and so we will be preparing for some quite important weeks ahead.
As you know, Mrs Lute has been designated by the Secretary-General to conduct consultations in order to see what the outcome of the reflection of the parties is with respect to what happened in Crans – Montana, the past negotiation process and their views on the possible way ahead.”
Replying to a question, she said that “we have to take one step at a time so basically Mrs Lute will be talking to the parties, she will start with the two leaders, she will first come to the island and speak with the two leaders, and then with the other parties and see what the outcome of their reflection is, and then she will be reporting back to the Secretary-General. And then of course it will be up to the Secretary-General to see what the next step will be.”
Asked if the Secretary-General will be taking his decision in September, she said “we really don’t have an idea of a timeline now, I can tell you that Mrs Lute is preparing to come to Cyprus soon, within this month, and then we will take it from there.”
Speaking to reporters at the Presidential Palace following the meeting of the President of the Republic with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spahar, the Government Spokesman, Prodromos Prodromou, said that “our side is ready for the resumption of talks and the President of the Republic looks very positively at the preparation of the Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General in this direction. The main subject of the discussion was to prepare the upcoming visit of the Counselor appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms Jane Hall Lut, both in Cyprus and other capitals involved in the Cyprus issue. The talks are taking place, our side is ready, the President of the Republic said she looked very positively in Mrs Lut’s preparations for the negotiations to resume.
The position that has been transferred remains the same as it was from the time of the impasse in Crans Montana – today is exactly a year to the day. The position of the Greek Cypriot side and that of President Anastasiades remains the same: to resume the negotiations from where we were left, given the progress made and given the Secretary-General’s framework with the six parameters, all important, but among them the clear intention of the United Nations to combine the solution of the Cyprus problem with the withdrawal of the occupation troops and a new security system to replace the outdated and dangerous system of third-country guarantees”.
The desire and intent is Lut’s visit to take place within in July, with the Greek-Cypriot side proposing a date after the black anniversary of July 20.
With regard to UNFICYP, the spokesman said in the meeting there was also discussion on the renewal of UNFICYP, in which the President expressed the position of Republic that it is crucial for the UNFICYP mission to continue, given that the Republic of Cyprus is a UN member state under Turkish occupation and the presence of the occupation army creates the need to have the protection and the outside testimony that the United Nations peacekeeping force can give.
In a journalist’s observation that there is a delay in the issue of the opening of the barricades, the spokesman said that “there is unfortunately a delay which is not due in any case to our side.
The President of the Republic, in his last meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader in April, said that we would be ready for one barricade, that of Deryneia, on July 1, and for the other barricade by the end of the summer. Already our side has fulfilled all its obligations and is ready to open the barricade. Unfortunately, there are still procedures from the Turkish Cypriot side and from the occupied ones.
I recall that the original agreement was for a larger number of crossing points, more barricades, and these two would only be the beginning. Unfortunately, there are delays.
We hope that there will finally be goodwill and solutions will be found. Any complications in the relations of the occupation army with the Turkish Cypriot side are not something that concerns us. Our side was and is ready to open the Deryneia barricade”.
Invited to comment on information that a Greek company has expressed interest in transferring natural gas to Cyprus from a floating unit, the spokesman said that “it probably exists. These are issues that should be handled by the competent authorities. The requests must be submitted, and there are the competent Bodies, other than the Ministry of Energy, that are dealing with these issues. What I can assure you is that for the biggest issue, that of the pipeline for which we are discussing, the Eastern Mediterranean pipeline, preparations are in progress, which are on the right track. ”
Invited to comment on the issue of the imminent visit by Turkey’s President to the occupied areas and the inauguration of mosques by the Turkish President, the spokesman said “it is always an illegal visit. We would like to see other samples from Turkey. Unfortunately, Turkey’s political direction on the issues of mixing religion and politics is known. We are certainly worried that – since there was never an issue of political engagement on the basis of religion in Cyprus, and there was never such a fanaticism among the Turkish-Cypriots – it can be cultivated at this time in various ways. It is, if necessary, an additional reason to urge for an agreement to end the Turkish occupation and such undesirable influences”./IBNA