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Consultations continue for UN envoy appointment, Lacroix says

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UN Under Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix meets President Nikos Christodoulides at Presidential Palace

The UN Secretary-General continues to be in active consultation with both sides on the appointment of an envoy for the Cyprus problem, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix said on Wednesday after his meeting with President Nikos Christodoulides.

Their meeting, held at the Presidential Palace, was very constructive, Lacroix told the media, adding he had a productive discussion with the Cypriot president.

He said they discussed the support that the Republic is providing to Unficyp, the very positive development, as he described it, on the agreement on the Arsos-Pyla road and the situation in the region and particularly in Gaza.

Asked to comment on reports that the Turkish Cypriot side had rejected the appointment of Australian Julie Bishop as UN envoy, Lacroix said he could not comment on what the media writes because the media is free to say what they want.

“What I can tell you is that the Secretary-General continues to be in consultation with the two sides very actively, so this is really what we are doing regarding this question,” he noted.

Regarding confidence-building measures in the absence of negotiations, Lacroix said the Committee on Missing Persons is a very important confidence-building measure, expressing his appreciation for its work.

He added that he will visit this Committee noting that President Christodoulides expressed the support of the Cyprus Government to this Committee and added that the United Nations will continue to be actively supportive.

Regarding the Pyla road, he said “we’re looking forward to the implementation of the agreement and Unficyp will continue to engage with the two sides so that the implementation, of this important agreement, can take place.”

Speaking about President Christodoulides’ initiative for humanitarian assistance to Gaza, Lacroix said the readiness of Cyprus to lend its assistance to the humanitarian effort is “highly appreciated”.

Asked whether the United Nations will be responsible for the distribution of humanitarian aid when and if it arrives in Gaza, Lacroix replied “our colleagues in charge of humanitarian efforts are actively working so that more humanitarian assistance can be delivered to the population of Gaza.”

Lacroix arrived in Cyprus on Wednesday for a three-day visit, during which he also met Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

On Thursday afternoon he will visit the buffer zone in ​​Pyla to observe works being undertaken within the agreement reached after the events of last August.

According to CNA, during his stay Lacroix will also have meetings at Ledra Palace with representatives of civil society from both sides, specifically with women’s and youth organisations.

The UN official will also be briefed by members of the UN peacekeeping force (Unicyp) on the operation and activities of the force.

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