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Cyprus President Meets UN Secretary General in New York

NEW YORK – By Matina Demeli [CNA]

Photograph: PIO-D. Panagos

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has given instructions to UN Deputy Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Peace Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo to visit Cyprus in the fall, President Nicos Anastasiades told CNA after a meeting with Guterres, at the UN headquarters.

Guterres, Anastasiades said, “was clear that despite the objections observed on the part of Turkey, however wanting to keep the prospect of a dialogue alive, he instructed Rosemary DiCarlo to visit Cyprus in the autumn for an exploratory mission.”

But, he added, “it was clear that Turkey is completely against any initiative.”

In response to a CNA question about the atmosphere in the General Assembly after the recent Erdogan speech, President Anastasiades said that “what I want to say is that through Erdogan’s speech it became clear how important the role of propaganda and the use of misleading statements is.”

Unfortunately, he noted, “what was said about respect for international law is nothing but the interpretation that Erdogan himself gives to international law. And I have made specific references because it is not the only violation. There are also the threats against Greece.”

But, he added, “it is also ironic to talk about a friendly way of finding solutions to problems when at the same time Erdogan threatens that “one night you might see us or we will come”, threatening to occupy Greek islands, violating the airspace” of Greece.

I will not refer, he said, “to the violations of international law”, adding that in his address earlier before the General Assembly he “referred extensively to the Cyprus issue”. President Anastasiades continued to say that he would not speak “of the invasion in Syria, always thanks to the good neighbourliness, the questioning of the sovereignty of Iraq”.

“While the Republic of Cyprus maintains excellent relations with all countries, Turkey is trying to improve (its own image) simply to create an image of isolation in relation to neighbouring states,” he noted.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.