News Local Spehar informs the Security Council on Cyprus

Spehar informs the Security Council on Cyprus

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus and Head of UNFICYP, Elizabeth Spehar, was not in a position to determine what would happen following the letters of the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, to the Secretary General of the United Nations and when Guterres’ Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute would visit the island.

Replying to a question, shortly after she informed the members of the Security Council, on Friday, in New York, Spehar said that it was early to say anything on that.

“I think it is still early days, but we do know that the two leaders have decided that they would like to meet and I’m hoping that will happen very soon, and I’m sure that Ms. Lute would also look at returning to the island in the very near future but there has nothing been said yet to my knowledge”, she said.

Spehar informed the members of the Security Council on recent developments and on the activities of the two peace missions on the ground that is UNFICYP as well as the Secretary-General’s Good Offices.

“I can confirm to you that the Council remains interested and engaged on the Cyprus issue”, she told the press after the meeting.

She said that she informed them about “the conclusion for the advancement of a number of the confidence building measures that the leaders have been working on in the past number of months and even years, including the achievement of the fully interconnectivity of the electricity grids, the recent achievement of the interoperability of mobile phones across the island”.

She also highlighted to the Security Council, that “not only do such developments, these confidence building measures, have a practical and a positive impact on the daily lives of Cypriots but they are also emblematic of what is still possible when the leaders demonstrate prerequisite political will”.

She added that in spite of such developments the Council also shared her overall concern regarding the lack of settlement talks. “I did underscore to them that we are now past the two-year marks since the closing of the Conference on Cyprus and that is definitely a matter of concern and also, they shared my concern about tensions in the region including off the shores of Cyprus. And I want to remind everyone that the Secretary-General has called once again for serious efforts to avoid any further escalation and to defuse tensions”.

Spehar said that she also showed in very concrete ways, how the role of UNFICYP remains critical on the island in maintaining common stability particularly in and around the buffer zone.

“No one assumes that resuming negotiations will be an easy task. There is a great desire on the part of the Council to see the leaders and the parties in general get back to the negotiation table as soon as possible and I personally firmly believe that returning to the talks still offers the best chance for a lasting peace in Cyprus”, the Special Representative noted.

She stressed that the Secretary-General for his part has made clear in the report that he has just released that he wants both sides to engage in the ongoing consultations constructively, creatively, and with the necessary urgency.

Replying to questions, she said that the efforts have not failed, the efforts continue and that the Secretary-General’s last report was quite clear that he wanted Ms. Lute to continue her consultations and both sides have continued to engage with her.

Spehar said that the members of the Security Council “did want to know when things will get moving and that I think by at large is in the hands of the parties”.

Speaking to the press ahead of Security Council consultations on UNFICYP, UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Jonathan Allen, said that “the United Kingdom continues to believe that it is vital that there is a settlement to the Cyprus problem with a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation”.

“We are pleased to see that the two leaders are apparently meeting later this month and we hope that will lead to a resumption of settlement talks and therefore to a settlement”, he added.


Top Stories

Malta to reopen its airport on July 1

  Malta will reopen its airport to passenger flights on July 1, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Sunday, as the Mediterranean island rolls back...

Latest on the worldwide spread of the coronavirus

  Gradual easing of coronavirus restrictions around the world included some openings for the faithful, including Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound which reopened to Muslim worshippers...

Gradual opening of checkpoints ‘reasonable arrangement’ says expert

  From a scientific perspective, the gradual opening of the checkpoints on the Green Line is a 'very reasonable arrangement', one of the experts advising...

Limassol: Old workers’ flats being turned to multi-purpose centre

  The former workers' apartments in western Limassol are being renovated and converted into a social and cultural centre as part of a wider €22...

Ice cream parlour, restaurants among 10 businesses booked for breaking decree

    The managers of 10 businesses including restaurants, an ice cream parlour and a hair dressers salon were booked yesterday for failing to comply with...


Local cuisine: An introduction

Rich in fresh ingredients and tasty herbs, offers the very best of Mediterranean culinary delights. Head out to a tavern and feast on a...

Spiced lamb with beetroot salad and scented yoghurt

Lay the lamb on a tray, skin side down. Rub with crushed garlic, sprinkle with spices and ground pistachios, wrap in plastic wrap and...

Easy seafood pasta with white wine sauce

Ingredients: 2-3 tbsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, chopped 2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream 1/3 cup white wine 300g spaghetti, roughly broken 300-400g of...

Traditional salads that will blow your mind away

This traditional salads will make you actually love salads! Cyprus may be famous for souvla and kleftiko but if you try the traditional salads with...