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Veiled criticism of the UN from President

President Nicos Anastasiades giving his UN Day speech last night

IN WHAT could be read as a veiled criticism of the UN, President Nicos Anastasiades last night said the inability of the international community to oblige Turkey to respect the rules and principles of international law and the UN Charter, contribute to the continuation of the gross violation of the rights and laws of Cyprus and its people as a whole.

Anastasiades’ remarks at a ceremony to mark UN Day came in the wake of reports this week that UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer sent either a letter or email to the European Commission opposing the Greek Cypriot request for greater EU involvement in the peace talks.

Anastasiades on Wednesday refused to put the rumours to bed, instead hinting that relations with the UN Good Offices, and with Downer, had taken a turn for the worse.

However he said the presence of the UN Peacekeeping Force on the island is the “best endorsement” of the assistance the United Nations provides to Cyprus and he thanked the international organisation for all its assistance and support throughout a period of some 50 years.

“UNFICYP’s presence here, for almost half a century, is the best endorsement of the important and substantial assistance the United Nations Organisation provides to Cyprus,” he said.

“We believe that the UN, as the pre-eminent forum for the protection of the territorial integrity of states is able through the Good Offices of the Secretary-General, to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem, based on Security Council resolutions, a solution that will cure the source of the problem,” the President noted. “This is the only way to achieve a mutually acceptable solution,” he added.

The President said that the UN’s involvement in Cyprus may not have succeeded, so far, to resolve the island’s long-standing division but it has certainly prevented the worst.

“It has kept the Cyprus issue alive on the world stage and prevents the legalisation of partition. Moreover, the involvement of the United Nations in the negotiations on the Cyprus problem stress the international dimension of the problem and eliminate any efforts to demote it to an inter-communal difference,” he added.

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