President Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday ‘challenged’ UN Special Representative Colin Stewart to deny or confirm negative comments the latter allegedly made about the Greek Cypriot side, as the UN itself earlier rejected the attributions to Stewart as ‘wrong’ and ‘unfounded’.

“I would like to believe that such things were not said,” Anastasiades told reporters on Thursday evening when asked about the issue.

“We shall wait until tomorrow [Friday], Mr Stewart has been challenged to set the record straight. But if something like that was actually said by him, the least one can say is that we are not talking about a representative of the UN, but a representative of those who violate international law.”

Earlier in the day, commenting on an article in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Duzen, which quoted Stewart as saying the Greek Cypriot side only complains but doesn’t act, UN spokesperson Aleem Siddique told the Cyprus News Agency said it was not accurate.

“We reject all allegations of bias as wrong and unfounded,” he said. “We work closely with both sides impartially.”

Greek Cypriot negotiator, Menelaos Menelaou was scheduled to meet on Thursday with the Turkish Cypriot leader’s special representative, Ergun Olgun. The meeting was to be attended by Stewart.

Asked about the possibility of a farewell dinner between President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, Siddique said that the United Nations expected the two sides to inform them on this issue.

Yeni Duzen’s Cenk Mutluyakali had said that during a meeting in New York with Scandinavian country representatives of the UN and non-permanent members of the Security Council, Stewart had claimed that “the northern part of Cyprus has now been integrated economically and politically with Turkey. The Greek Cypriot side is the one that needs to act to change the situation. However, all they do is complain, condemn and accuse.”

On Wednesday night, the UN had also tweeted about the allegations.

Mutluyakali had written that he had spoken with two other diplomats and that he was impressed by Stewart’s “courage.”

Continuing, Stewart is alleged to have told attendees at the meeting that he is often accused of only supporting the Turkish side.

“However, I try to give an objective evaluation,” he is reported to have said.

Meanwhile, British Minister for Europe Leo Doherty told the Council of British Cypriots in a letter that a fair and lasting solution in line with the parameters of the United Nations was the best way to deal with the situation in Cyprus.

“A solution will increase the prosperity of Cyprus and strengthen the security and stability of the region. The UK is actively engaging with all parties in this regard,” he said.

According to CNA, the letter also noted that the UK continues to call on all sides to refrain from actions or statements that could harm the prospects of a solution and that as a guarantor and friend to all sides, Britain would continue to provide support to the efforts of the United Nations, including by participating in Unficyp.