The UNSG’s Special Representative in Cyprus, Colin Stewart, has Antonio Guterres’ full support, the Antonio Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujarric has said.
Dujarric was asked on Friday, if as reported by Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen, whether Stewart, blamed the Greek Cypriots for the impasse in the Cyprus problem and if there was a copy of his statements.
“We’re not in the business of commenting on reported conversations that may have taken place within a private setting. What matters is the secretary general’s opinion, his views on the Cyprus issue. There were two reports that came out in January. His position is clear, in black and white in those reports. That’s the secretariat’s position. We the UN, and that includes Mr. Stewart and the mission in Cyprus work impartially with both sides, in Cyprus. Mr. Stewart has the full backing and confidence of the Secretary-General in his job”.
Asked to comment on the statement by President Nicos Anastasiades, who said that “if indeed something similar was said, the least that could be said is that we are no longer talking about a representative of the UN, but a representative of those who violate international law” Dujarric said that “our position is unchanged. And I would encourage journalists and observers to look at what the secretary general’s position is, it’s in black and white.”
“It’s Mr. Stewart’s position. He continues with the full support of the Secretary-General, and he will continue to work impartially. And I think it is important to focus on what is said and what is said in official remarks and what is written in official reports rather than hearsay from private conversations,” he added.
The spokesperson also pointed out that “what matters I think is Mr. Stewart’s mind-set, which is laser focused on representing the Secretary-General, on representing the United Nations in the most impartial way possible. And again, He has the Secretary-General’s full support”.
Commenting on the issue later in the afternoon, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said that issue that arose with Stewart is closed.
The Cyprus foreign ministry on Friday delivered a demarche to Stewart after Anastasiades challenged him to set the record straight. The UN in Cyprus has repeatedly said the reports from the north were unfounded.
Yeni Duzen’s, Cenk Mutluyakali, 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.”