Spehar briefs president about contacts in the US

The UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Cyprus and head of Unficyp Elizabeth Spehar briefed President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday about her forthcoming contacts with senior US and UN officials, including Antonio Guterres himself ahead of a discussion at the Security Council for the renewal of Unficyp’s mandate.

In statements after the meeting at the Presidential Palace, Spehar said she had a “very good meeting” with Anastasiades and his associates including Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides, adding that she talked to them “about my upcoming trip to the United States which I think will be quite important.

“I will be leaving tomorrow evening for Washington DC first of all where I will be meeting with senior officials at the State Department probably also the national security council there to talk about Cyprus and their current views,” she said.

Spehar added that “then I will move on to New York where I will be meeting with senior officials in the (UN) Secretariat, including the Secretary General.

“I will also be meeting with the permanent five members of the Security Council and other Council members and this is all in preparation for the Security Council briefing which will take place in the afternoon of the 23rd of January.”

The UN official continued saying that she “will also be briefing the troop contributing and police contributing countries of Unficyp, of our peace keeping mission because the play a very important role in supporting our mission with our military colleagues here on the ground.”

Ultimately, she stressed, “I hope to have a very good session with the Security Council on the 23rd ahead of their consideration of our mandate renewal.

“The renewal of the Unficyp mandate is likely to be considered by the Security Council members and decided at the very end of this month,” she said.

Unficyp arrived in Cyprus in March 1964 after intercommunal fighting broke out. The mandate of the force is renewed every six months by the Security Council.

On Friday afternoon Spehar is due to have a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

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