The United Nations Secretary-General intends to appoint a special envoy to Cyprus, an indication that the UN has not lost interest in the Cyprus issue, foreign minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Tuesday.
Speaking to the state broadcaster, Christodoulides was responding to media reports and commentary that the UN’s interest in the Cyprus problem has fizzled out.
Cyprus’ chief diplomat said the UN has sounded out all the involved parties concerning the appointment of a special envoy.
Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriots, Greece, the UK and the European Union have already consented to the appointment of Jane Holl Lute to be sent as Antonio Guterres’ personal envoy to suss out prospects for the resumption of reunification talks, stalled since last year.
Turkey was the only holdout, Christodoulides said.
He expected Ankara to reveal its position after the June 24 elections in Turkey.
The UN will not propose an envoy, mediator or a negotiator between parties for Cyprus if both parties do not agree to that person, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, has said on Monday.
He had been asked to clarify statements by Russia’s permanent representative to the UN and President of the UN Security Council Vassily Nebenzi that a special envoy was proposed but nothing would be done “before some things happen politically in Cyprus.”
Dujarric said, “we will announce what we need to announce when we feel the situation is ready”. He went on to say that “Cyprus, as most of the issues we deal with, are delicate and complex. And I’m not going to try to look into the future, say when… if and when we’re going to announce it.”
The UN official said he was not going to “get into whatever discussions” relating to a UN attempt to send an envoy to Cyprus.
The remark referred to Jean-Marie Guéhenno who was rejected on the grounds that he hails from an EU member.
The spokesman was asked whether the UN accepts that one of the parties of interest in the Cyprus question now determines that EU members cannot be envoys.
However, he said it is “an obvious answer that the UN will not propose an envoy or a mediator or a negotiator between parties if both parties don’t agree to that person. But on Mr. Guéhenno, I have no specific comment.”
In another interview with Politis radio, the foreign minister said Cyprus is neither attempting to join the ‘antechamber of NATO’ – a reference to the Partnership for Peace (PfP) – nor is it discussing the prospect of joining the transatlantic alliance.
Likewise, Cyprus is at the moment not considering entering the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), given that the country’s membership of the European Union affords the necessary security.
He was not asked about the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), which Cyprus joined late last year.