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Spehar: UN To Decide About A Trilateral Meeting On Cyprus

Spehar: UN To Decide About A Trilateral Meeting On Cyprus

It is for the United Nations in New York to decide about a trilateral meeting between the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and the two leaders in Cyprus, the UNSG`s outgoing Special Representative in Cyprus said on Monday, after a farewell meeting she had with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar.

Elizabeth Spehar said that she thanked Tatar and his colleagues for their cooperation. "We discussed the upcoming UN General Assembly and "the fact this is always an important opportunity every year to engage with the UN Secretary General," she noted.

She added that she wanted to encourage Tatar as she did with Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, to encourage people from across the divide to continue to meet to work on reconciliation.

"I feel it`s extremely important that on this island, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots continue to try to understand each other, to meet with each other, to work together as an indispensable foundation for peace," Spehar said.

She noted that she wanted to personally encourage all Cypriots to work for peace, adding that Cypriots are peace loving people and want a much better future for this island.

"I believe that each and every Cypriot has their role to play. I`ve been very privileged to be working here for over five years. I`ve met some amazing people who have on their way to build bridges for peace and I wish them to continue," Spehar added.

She recalled that the UNSG has repeatedly said that he will not give up on peace in Cyprus and expressed hope that also Cypriots equally do not give up.

"As United Nations we are always particularly interested in making sure that everyone participates in building peace and in particular, making sure that women are part of peace processes and that their voices are heard," Spehar said.

As she noted, she asked both leaders to also support the efforts of women on the island to be part of peace process. This is something that Security Council itself has been asking for, she added.

She went on to say that "we also hope that more young people will be interested in the Cyprus issue and basically participate in bringing that forward so that we can get to a solution. I really hope that we will see a solution to the Cyprus issue on this island sooner rather than later. I think that those certainly there is no time to lose," she stressed

Asked if a trilateral meeting between the Secretary - General and the two leaders is expected to take place in New York, Spehar said that “for the moment there are bilateral meetings of course that are expected. Usually the Secretary General meets in New York separately with all of the parties to the Cyprus problem, so that will certainly happen."

With regard to a trilateral meeting, she said that this is for New York to decide "and I don`t have any further on information on that for the moment."

Asked about her feelings now that she is leaving the island, she said that her feelings are mixed. "On one hand, I am sad to be leaving this island without a solution to the Cyprus problem. On the other hand, I am very happy with my experience here because I have met many wonderful Cypriots and worked closely with many of them," she noted.

"I know how many people have worked for decades to finally put an end to this problem, and I very much admire them I admire their tenacity and I really hope that they will not give up and I will always have a strong attachment to Cyprus, and a very soft spot in my heart for all Cypriots," she concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Numerous UN backed talks to reunite the island have failed to yield results.

Source: CNA

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