President Nikos Christodoulides held on Friday evening a telephone conversation with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres focusing on the Cyprus issue, the Turkish violations in the buffer zone as well as Nicosia’s Initiative for humanitarian aid to Gaza, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said on Friday.

The president stressed the need to end the Turkish violations and restore the status quo in the buffer zone.

According to a written statement by Letymbiotis, during their telephone conversation they discussed about the Cyprus issue, and the stated intention of the Secretary General to appoint an envoy who will explore the prospects for resuming talks based on the agreed framework, with the aim of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Christodoulides stressed once more his determination and readiness for the resumption of negotiations and his will to work towards achieving a solution to the Cyprus issue, based on the relevant UN resolutions and the principles and values of the EU, the spokesman said.

In addition, Christodoulides discussed with the UN Secretary General the recent, ongoing violations of the Turkish occupying forces in the buffer zone, stressing the need to end such actions and restore the status of the buffer zone.

During their telephone conversation they also discussed about the efforts to implement the initiative of the Republic of Cyprus, for the creation of a maritime corridor for the provision of uninterrupted humanitarian aid to the civilian population of Gaza.

The president informed the Guterres about the current planning of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as about the intention of other states to assist as soon as possible in the implementation of Nicosia’s initiative.

Speaking outside an event earlier, the president commented on recent alleged violations in Dherynia, where it appeared that the Turkish Cypriots were building fortifications.

“Our focus at the moment on this specific issue is to take all those actions so that the residents of the area do not feel insecure,” he said.

Asked if he can refer to these actions, Christodoulides replied: “No. I was also criticised when I referred to some measures that are visible and some that the people of the area will not be able to see, and this was also one of the reasons that I recently personally visited the area of Ayios Dhometios, to see the implementation of these measures, but also their effectiveness.”

On Thursday, UN peacekeeping force (Unficyp) spokesman Aleem Siddque said the UN peacekeeping force is closely monitoring works in Dherynia, which are being conducted by the ‘authorities’ in the north near the buffer zone, after issues were raised by the local mayor over fortification works which seem to be happening within the buffer zone.

Following the concerns raised by the mayor, Andros Karayiannis, that digging activity appeared to be taking place, and that it seemed they were creating fortifications, Siddique said: “All the work taking place remains outside the buffer zone.”

He added: “The status quo inside the buffer zone remains intact.”

However, he did say that the UN peacekeepers are monitoring the area closely.

“If it is a violation then it will be in the secretary-general’s report in January.”

However, sources close to the UN told the Cyprus Mail that the situation in Dherynia is being investigated, and that it appears the works do not have a military intent but are rather sewerage or drainage works.