Spehar to hold contacts in New York and Washington ahead of consultations on UNFICYP mandate

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Elizabeth Spehar, will hold contacts in New York and Washington in mid � January, ahead of consultations at the United Nations Security Council on the renewal of UNFICYP mandate.

According to the provisional programme of work of the Security Council, consultations will take place on January 22 and the adoption of the resolution by the Security Council to extend the mandate of UNFICYP is scheduled for January 30.

Reliable sources have told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that Spehar is expected to travel to New York on January 12 to have consultations with high-ranking UN officials. From there she will travel to Washington to hold meetings with US officials.

The same sources said that before travelling to the US, Spehar is expected to meet in Cyprus with President NicosAnastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

At the UN headquarters, the Special Representative will meet with Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo and Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. She will also meet with officials from UNFICYP contributing countries and with members of the Security Council.

In Washington, Spehar will hold contacts at the State Department to discuss the Cyprus problem and the renewal of the mandate of UNFICYP.

She will return to New York to brief the Security Council, which is sheduled to hold consultations on UNFICYP on January 22 and vote on the resolution for the renewal of UNFICYP mandate on January 30.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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