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Spehar meets Akinci on Unficyp renewal (updated)

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The UN Secretary-General’s special representative Elizabeth Spehar held a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on Tuesday morning to discuss the renewal of Unficyp mandate renewal.

According to Turkish Cypriot media reports, the meeting took place at 11am.

Following the meeting, Akinci reportedly said he submitted in writing his positions on the UN Secretary-General’s draft report on his good offices in Cyprus. He said the Turkish Cypriot side has requested the correction of some omissions spotted in the report but would announce its opinion in detail once the final report is published.

Spehar usually holds separate meetings with the two leaders ahead of discussion by the UN Security Council’s discussion on Unficyp’s six-month mandate renewal and will meet President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday morning.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in his latest report suggests the renewal of Unficyp’s mandate for another six months.

Akinci also said he discussed with Spehar the problems encountered due to the pandemic and the need for cooperation between the two communities.

The Turkish Cypriot leader also called for the reopening of the Ledra street crossing, which, he said, was important for both sides.

He said the Ledra street crossing unites the heart of Nicosia and that suspension of its operation affects shop owners on both sides of the divide.

Akinci also said he told Spehar it was a mistake by the Greek Cypriots to prevent foreign nationals, especially Europeans, crossing to the north. He said this was in violation of the Green Line Regulation and called on the UN to take this issue more seriously.

Akinci’s statements on the decision by the government to disallow tourists to cross to the north due to measures against the spread of coronavirus follows those by parties and the business community in the north on Monday.

This decision, they all said, was negatively affecting tourism and the economy of the north.



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