Spehar briefs UN Security Council members on Cyprus issue

UN Secretary Generals Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar is set to brief today, during unofficial consultations, Security Council members on recent developments in the Cyprus problem, in the light of two recent reports by Antonio Guterres on his good offices mission and UNFICYP, the UN peace keeping force in Cyprus.

Spehar is also expected to refer to the forthcoming visit of Guterres personal envoy Jane Holl Lute to Cyprus.

Furthermore, a draft resolution on the renewal of UNFICYPs mandate is expected to be presented by the British permanent representative to the other permanent members of the Security Council. The UN Secretary General has proposed that the forces mandate be renewed for another six months.

The US position on the mandates renewal is expected with interest since it has been known that the country is seeking to change the way UN peacekeeping forces operate around the world.

Greek Cypriot negotiator, Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis is also in New York where he is holding meetings with UN Secretariat officials and UN Security Council members.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. A UN-backed Conference on Cyprus last summer in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana, aiming to reunify the island under a federal roof, ended inconclusively.

The United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), comprising military and civilian personnel from various contributing countries, arrived in Cyprus in March 1964 after intercommunal fighting broke out. The mandate of the force is renewed every six months by the Security Council.

Source: Cyprus News Agency