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New UN envoy may visit Cyprus in new year

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File photo: President Nikos Christodoulides and UNSG Antonio Guterres

President Nikos Christodoulides on Saturday said he had discussed the appointment of a new UN envoy to Cyprus during a phone call with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The call, which took place on Friday evening, saw Christodoulides convey the Greek Cypriot side’s readiness for the immediate start of Cyprus talks after the announcement of the personality selected as envoy by the UN Secretary General.

Christodoulides told reporters he believes that in the new year, immediately after the UN Secretary General announcement, the envoy will visit Cyprus.

Though the individual has not been formally named, it is understood Guterres has put forth Maria Angela Holguin Cuellar, who served as foreign minister of Colombia between 2010 and 2018 and was also head of the Colombian mission to the UN and the ambassador of her country to Venezuela.

Cyprus’ government has consented to the appointment.

According to Christodoulides, the call took place after his own initiative and during the conversation over the envoy, Guterres “spoke in very flattering terms about the person he intends to announce, who knows very well issues such as the Cyprus problem and how they can help.”

He expressed readiness for Nicosia’s immediate start of discussions. “If there is political will, I believe that we can arrive at the resumption of substantive talks from where they were interrupted,” he said.

The president also said that he discussed with the UN Secretary General the humanitarian corridor to Gaza, an issue of concern to both Guterres and the international community as the situation has deteriorated in recent days, adding that “the unhindered dispatch of humanitarian aid should begin immediately.”

On Greek-Turkish relations, President Christodoulides said that the Prime Minister of Greece contacted him immediately after the conclusion of his meeting with the Turkish President in Athens.

“I cannot say in public everything he told me, but there seems to be a positive momentum. At the end of the day, we will all be judged by the results,” he said.

Asked if he was satisfied with the information he received, the president replied in the affirmative and that he was satisfied with what he heard from the Greek Prime Minister, adding that they will have a private meeting next week in Brussels, where he will have the opportunity to be briefed even more specifically with more details.

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