Spehar: UN always remains available

The UN always remains available, UNSG’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Elizabeth Spehar has said, adding that once the UN Secretary General hears that both sides are ready with the common approach to move forward, then the UN will be ready to move.

In statements after meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Spehar said that after the Conference on Cyprus last year, the UNSG had asked all parties to reflect on what had been accomplished up until then and how the process might move forward.

She added that the UNSG continues to wait to hear the views of all sides and whether they can jointly decide on the next steps.

In addition, she said she discussed with Mr Akinci about her recent meeting with President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and his views on the way forward.

‘This is all preliminary process of discussion with both sides. We as UN continue to be available and we are going to continue to listen”, she said.

Asked if she feels optimistic that during the next short period the process will resume, she said that “the UN always remains available, our good offices continue to work here. I am also available here on the island to support the sides and once the Secretary General hears that both sides are ready with the common approach to move forward, then we will be ready to move”.

Invited to say whether she will continue the shuttle diplomacy, she said that “I will continue to being available as much as both sides would like me to”.

Asked if any leaders meeting can be expected in the next couple of months or weeks Spehar said “we are just having preliminary discussions for the time being”.

Spehar said she talked with the T/C leader about the upcoming visit of UN Undersecretary General Jean – Pierre Lacroix, who is also the head of the Peacekeeping operations. She said that he is coming to Cyprus to visit the UNFICYP and to familiarise himself with the mission.

Noting that Mr Lacroix is on a tour of various missions of UN in the region, she said that he is also going to look at how will be implementing the results of the strategic review on UNFICYP that took place late last year.

The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Efforts to reach a solution under UN auspices have so far been unsuccessful.

Source: Cyprus News Agency