CNA News

It is important for a UN envoy to be appointed asap, Nicosia says

The appointment of an envoy for the Cyprus issue by the UN Secretary – General Antonio Guterres as soon as possible will be an important development that we hope will lead to the resumption of the negotiations, Government Spokesperson, Konstantinos Lebymbiotis has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

Referring to the discussion which Cyprus President, Nikos Christodoulides, had on Saturday in Cairo with Guterres, on the sidelines of the international Peace Summit for the Middle East, Letymbiotis noted that as the President himself has said in the coming days announcements are expected by the UN in order to kick off an effort for the resumption of the talks on the Cyprus problem.

Visit to Israel

Asked about the visit which President Christodoulides paid, after the Cairo Summit, to Israel where he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog, Letymbiotis said that the President wanted to visit Israel where he conveyed some messages from the Summit about the need to de-escalate the crisis, to start a political dialogue, to have an unhindered humanitarian aid provision and to terminate the loss of civilians from all sides.

Invited to say if Israel has asked the President for something, the Spokesperson said that given the fact that Cyprus is the EU member state which is closer to the region he was asked to convey some messages so that there is contact with the EU.

Asked how these messages will be conveyed, the Spokesman noted that the President is in contact with the EU institutions and with European leaders. He also recalled that a European Council meeting will be taking place on October 26 and 27.

Letymbiotis also noted that the Republic of Cyprus participated in the Cairo Summit both as a country which has excellent relations with the states of the region and as an EU member state which is close to the region.

He said that the fact that Cyprus was present at the Summit was important, noting that it was attended by the big countries of Europe, as well as Cyprus and Greece, something which indicates their role in the region.

The countries of the region themselves consider Cyprus as a country with which they have long-standing excellent relations, and that constitutes to an extent their voice in the EU, he added.

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.