UN Envoy in Cyprus for terms of reference in the coming days, Spokesman says

UN Secretary General’s envoy Jane Holl Lute will be in Cyprus in the coming days in order to formulate the terms of reference for the resumption of negotiations in the Cyprus reunification process, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Thursday.

In statements at the Presidential Palace, Prodromou also said that the renewal by the UN Security Council of UNFICYP’s mandate, the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus for another six months yesterday, was an important development.

Asked to comment on Turkey’s reaction after the resolution for UNFICYP’s mandate renewal he said that what is important, is that the Security Council has decided to renew the peacekeeping force’s mandate. This is what is important.

The important thing is that the peacekeeping force will be here for the next six months, he said, adding that UN Secretary General’s envoy will be here in the coming days on a mission to put together, to formulate, jointly with the other side the terms of reference in order for negotiations to resume.

Commenting on the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s press release on UNFICYP’s mandate renewal he said that it is certainly not a positive development. He added that criticising the Security Council because it refers to previous resolutions on the Cyprus solution does not make any sense and it is not necessary to comment on.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry’s practice to refer to the Secretary General wishing to correct the Security Council obviously points to thoughts for different approaches in order to create confusion he noted. For us things are clear: Lute will be here to formulate the terms of reference for the negotiations on the basis of United Nations parameters,” he said, adding that it is already known what solution the negotiations seek to reach.

Invited to comment on a Turkish Foreign Ministry press release on the joint declaration issued by the EU seven southern member states after the Med-7 summit in Nicosia, on Tuesday, Prodromou said that it is any third partys right to have views on the summit.

We are talking about seven EU states, meeting under an established, informal, but very important formation in order to coordinate policies which have to do with their common interests always within the context of European policies, he explained.

The government spokesman further noted that the cooperation between Cyprus and France takes place in context of the European defence policy and the cooperation programme known as PESCO.

Asked to comment on references by US acting permanent representative Jonathan Cohen during the discussion of UNFICYP’s mandate yesterday at the Security Council, Prodromou said that we will not comment on positions expressed by representatives of permanent members of the Security Council.

UNFICYP’s mandate has been renewed despite the fact that we are all aware that there is an ongoing debate on a review of peacekeeping forces everywhere, not just in Cyprus, he noted.

UNFICYP’s mandate has been renewed, he added, because as we keep underlining the peacekeeping force’s presence is necessary while Turkish occupation and the presence of Turkish troops on the island continue.

We are the ones who first say and believe that the Cyprus problem should be settled as soon as possible, Prodromou stressed. The continuation of this anomaly in Cyprus for decades, he said, is because Turkey prevents a solution because it obviously has other plans.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency