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Anastasiades tells UN he will meet Akinci as long as Turkish provocations end

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix on a previous trip to the island

President Nicos Anastasiades has reiterated to the UN his readiness to continue Cyprus negotiations and meet Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci as long as Turkish provocations end, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Friday.

Anastasiades had a meeting on Friday morning with UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, in the presence of the UNSG’s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar.

Prodromou said that the meeting focused on the UN study regarding the peacekeeping operations which does not only concern Cyprus but peacekeeping operations worldwide, adding that Anastasiades “underlined to Mr. Lacroix, along with his aides, the minister of foreign affairs and the Greek Cypriot negotiator, the role and the effectiveness of the UN peacekeeping force.”

“We realise that the mission is here for many, many years and that for some people at the UN this may be considered as a burden, but the results are very positive,” he noted, adding that UNFICYP plays an important role in maintaining tranquillity in Cyprus. Unficyp has been in Cyprus since March 1964.

Prodromou said that since Spehar was present at the meeting, Anastasiades held a preliminary discussion as regards the state of play in Cyprus. He reiterated his readiness to continue negotiations – as long as provocations and violations by Turkey are terminated – within the existing UN framework, with no new preconditions or demands, Prodromou added.

He also said that Anastasiades “reiterated to Spehar his readiness to meet with Akinci, as they will have  to have at some point  a tete-a-tete conversation if the process is to resume.”

There were no developments on this so far, he added.

As regards UNFICYP, Prodromou said that ideas were exchanged during the meeting. “We expect that any revision that may take place at the international level will not affect Unficyp’s role, taking into consideration that the Republic of Cyprus is a small state occupied by the troops of a foreign troops, it is very close to Turkey and to other troubled areas in the region.”

Asked about statements which Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci made on Thursday during a televised conference, Prodromou said that Akinci did not say anything which was not already known.

Asked if Spehar has conveyed a message from the UNSG, Prodromou said there was no message and recalled that Anastasiades has sent more than one letter to Antonio Guterres expressing his readiness for the resumption of the talks.

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