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President will deal with the replacement of Greek Cypriot negotiator

Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis

The negotiator of the Greek Cypriot side to the UN-led peace talks, Ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis, may have to be replaced at some stage of the negotiations within the next few months, according to well informed sources.

This issue arises from Cyprus’ bid to elect its own representative to the Presidency of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly. Ambassador Mavroyiannis is the Republic of Cyprus’ candidate for this post and the election process necessitates his presence in New York 15 months prior to assuming the post.

“This matter is not connected with either the negotiating process or the substance of the Cyprus question. Nonetheless, it has its own timeframe,” the same sources, who talked to CNA on condition of anonymity, explained.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will deal with this issue as he deems appropriate, they added.

However, they noted, “this is neither an urgent matter nor a matter of Mavroyiannis submitting his resignation” from his current post of negotiator.

In any case, the same source pointed out, the post of the negotiator is not a career post and the negotiator is not irreplaceable. In addition to this, the same sources indicate that it is not considered appropriate for one person to hold such a post for many years.

If Ambassador Mavroyiannis is elected and according to the same sources there is a distinct possibility, he should be at the UN headquarters for a period of 15 months.

“Consequently, if the UN-led talks are continuing, it is not possible for Mavroyiannis to continue being the Greek Cypriot negotiator,” they explain.

The post of the President of the UN General Assembly, assigned to the countries of the Asia-Pacific Group, of which Cyprus is a member, is also contested by Fiji and their Permanent Representative Peter Thomson. The elections will be held on June 13.

Ambassador Nicholas Emiliou, the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN, has told CNA in an interview that Cyprus’ candidacy is strong and enjoys wide support.

Cyprus submitted its candidacy first, in April 2008, to be followed by Kazakhstan a year later. Fiji submitted its own candidacy in October 2014. However, Kazakhstan has withdrawn its candidacy, due to its parallel bid for the Security Council, leaving only two contestants vying for the position.

Emiliou noted that elections are held at the General Assembly, with a simple majority among the 193 member states. Thus, it requires 97 votes to elect Mavroyiannis, he explained.

The latest round of UN talks began in May last year between President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. The two leaders will have their first meeting in 2016 tomorrow.

Talks aim at a mutually acceptable solution that will reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.


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