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31-01-2023 09:04

Reference to the Cyprus problem during UN press briefing

During’s yesterday’s (30.1.23) press briefing at UN Headquarters, the Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Stéphane Dujarric, replied to questions set by the OMEGA correspondent, Mr Michalis Ignatiou, as follows:

Ignatiou: Through the adoption of its resolution for the extension of UNFICYP’s mandate, the Security Council clearly shows its concern on the situation in Varosha and in particular that it takes the Turkish threats for further reopening of the fenced area seriously. In fact, for the first time we read in a SC resolution such a clear message that new provocations will prompt the response of the Council: “emphasises that any further unilateral action may prompt a response from the Security Council.”

How do you explain the fact that the seriousness of the situation in Varosha is not reflected properly in the Secretary-General’s report, and it is rather downplayed?

Dujarric: Michael, that’s a difference of opinion. You and I may have different reactions to the reading of the Secretary-General’s report. Varosha was mentioned clearly in the report. The Secretary-General mentioned it in a way that felt was best to be mentioned. The Security Council also has its opinion. I don’t think the two contradict each other, at least from my point of view.

Ignatiou: The Security Council has underlined the urgency for the appointment of an envoy who will lay the groundwork towards the resumption of negotiations on the Cyprus issue, a call which is also in line with the Secretary-General’s conclusions in his good offices report. What steps does the Secretary-General intend to take to proceed with the appointment of an envoy and under which mandate?

Dujarric: I think what the Security Council calls on, it urges the parties to come to an agreement so that the Secretary-General may appoint an envoy. From my reading of the resolution, it calls on the parties to come to an agreement. We are continuing our consultations on that and when we have something to announce we will and then it will be clear under which framework it is done. But it remains foremost on the mind of the Secretary-General.

Ignatiou:  I saw now that the Foreign Ministry of Turkey is asking again for a two-state solution in Cyprus and I wanted to know what is the position of the Secretary-General on this issue?

Dujarric: I haven’t seen that statement. I said to you what I said to you on Friday that the Secretary-General’s position is in his report. I’m almost happy for people to quote me but I would encourage you to quote the Secretary-General directly in his own words on that.