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19-01-2022 08:47

Reference to the Cyprus problem during UN press briefing

During yesterday’s (18.1.22) international press briefing at UN Headquarters, the ikypros correspondent, Mr Nicos Antoniades, asked the Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Stéphane Dujarric, to comment on questions on the Cyprus problem and the reports of the Secretary-General as follows:

QuestionThank you, Stéphane. First, allow me to congratulate Ms Spehar on her new appointment and wish her all the best. Hope she does not forget that somewhere in the middle of the Mediterranean there is an equal - but divided UN member, called Republic of Cyprus.

Staying in Cyprus: According to Mr Kvalheim's statement regarding the Council Members consultations on UNFICYP, “the Members called for respect and adherence to all relevant Security Council resolutions and decisions”.

My first question: What actions did the Secretary General take to prevent Turkey from violating these “resolutions and decisions” on a daily basis? 

My second question: Despite the 200,000 refugees in Cyprus due to Turkey's invasion since 1974, and despite that Turkey violates these resolutions and decisions daily, we have never heard the Secretary-General to use in his reports any of the words “Turkey's invasion, Turkey’s occupation, Turkey’s violations”. In contrast, in all his reports, the Secretary-General keeps an equal distance between the attacker-Turkey, and the victim-Cyprus. A big Why, Stéphane? Thank you.

Dujarric: The Secretary-General reports in a way that reflects the reality as we see it. And that’s how we report all the time. So, I’m not going to analyze, do a sort of post-game analysis of the reports. The reports are the reports. They speak for themselves. Whether it’s a report on Cyprus or anywhere else in the world, we often get criticized by some of the parties involved. But, you know, the reports continue, and they stand for themselves.

We’ve always been very clear that it’s imperative for both sides in Cyprus to respect and abide by the UN, by all relevant Security Council resolutions.

Question: I totally understand that, but please, how can the two communities come closer as long as there are troops and there was an invasion? This is a question we’ve never had an answer to.

Dujarric: Nicos, the issue of Cyprus is one that the United Nations has been dealing for a long time. It is one that the three Secretary-Generals that I’ve been working for have also been dealt directly. They have got themselves involved directly in a way that sometimes they do more than with other issues. The situation we find ourselves is not for the lack of involvement by the United Nations. We try to keep, to bring the parties closer, to get to an agreement for the benefit of all the people involved. But I don’t think the Secretary-General is the sole player in all of this. And I will leave it at that”.