Assistant UN Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and Americas, Miroslav Jenca arrives to Cyprus on Sunday evening. He is set to meet with President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, during separate meetings on Monday.
Government Spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis told the Cyprus News Agency that the goal of the Greek Cypriot side is to create the conditions and the potential for the resumption of negotiations.
Letymbiotis said that the President will convey to the UN top official the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to engage in a new round of negotiations from where they were left in the summer of 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans Montana.
The Spokesperson said also that the appointment of an UNSG envoy for the Cyprus issue will have a high added value to the whole effort and points out the references on the issue, included in the latest reports of the UNSG to the Security Council.
Letymbiotis said that there will undoubtedly be a discussion about the latest incidents in Pyla, but noted that the Greek Cypriot side does not want any distraction from the ultimate goal of the resumption of the talks.
Florencia Soto Niño, Associate Spokesperson for the Secretary-General said that Jenča, will be in Cyprus from 27 to 29 August for separate meetings with the leaders adding that the discussions are expected to focus on the way forward on the Cyprus issue and recent developments on the ground.
Jenca, who will depart the island Tuesday August 29, will also meet with the UN peacekeepers who were in the buffer zone in Pyla area and were attacked by men of the occupation regime.
The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) has learnt that during his meeting on Tuesday with the British and Slovak peacekeepers – some of whom were wounded during the incident – Jenca will thank them and will be briefed about what happened in the buffer zone on August 18 and the situation in the area.
It is not known yet where the UN official will choose to visit the buffer zone in Pyla to observe the situation there by himself. This will depend on how the situation evolves until his arrival to Cyprus, while there is a possibility that he may observe the area from the helicopter that will transport him on Tuesday from Nicosia to Famagusta, where he will pay a visit accompanied by Slovak peacekeepers.
Jenca will also attend a meeting on Monday morning, before his separate meetings with President, Nikos Christodoulides, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar, with UN Secretary – General’s Special Representative and head of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Colin Stewart, and the good offices mission team who will brief him on the latest developments.
Stewart has been engaged in discussions with both sides on the island with a view to finding a mutually acceptable way forward on the issue of the buffer zone in Pyla area.
Members of the Security Council condemned the incidents in the buffer zone, in the village of Pyla, in Larnaca district, with assaults against UN peacekeepers, reiterating their full support for UNFICYP on Tuesday.
They also condemned the attacks on UN peacekeepers and the damage to UN vehicles by Turkish Cypriot personnel and wished a speedy and full recovery to the peacekeepers who were injured. They emphasized that “attacks against peacekeepers may constitute crimes under international law and reaffirmed their full commitment to the safety of all UN personnel.”
On Friday August 18, 2023 Turkish Cypriots punched and kicked a group of international peacekeepers who obstructed crews illegally working on a road that would encroach on a UN controlled buffer zone.
The attack happened as peacekeepers stood in the way of work crews building a road to connect the Turkish occupied village of Arsos with the mixed Greek Cypriot-Turkish Cypriot village of Pyla, inside the buffer zone.