The UN will always be available to the two sides, the UNSG’s Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar said on Tuesday, and they will be ready to move forward once the UN Secretary General hears that both sides are ready with a common approach to do so.
In statements after meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Spehar said after the unsuccessful 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 Akinci her recent meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades and his views on the way forward.
“This is all preliminary process of discussion with both sides. We as the 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”.
Invited to say whether she will continue the shuttle diplomacy, she said that “I will continue to be 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 with Akinci she talked about the upcoming visit of UN Undersecretary General Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who is also the head of the Peacekeeping operations. She said he is coming to Cyprus to visit Unficyp and to familiarise himself with the mission.
Lacroix, on a tour of various missions of UN in the region, is also going to look at how the organisation will be implementing the results of the strategic review on Unficyp that took place late last year.