We understand Anastasiades’ concerns over what is happening in Cyprus’ EEZ, UN envoy says

The UN understands the concerns expressed by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades with regard to what is taking place in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the UNSG`s Deputy Special Adviser on Cyprus and resident Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar said after a meeting she had on Thursday with Anastasiades, noting that “we are conveying (these concerns) to New York.”

Spehar also said that she was planning to reach out to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, after her meeting with Anastasiades.

UN-led talks aiming to solve the problem of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974, were suspended in July 2017, when the Conference on Cyprus ended inconclusively  in Crans Montana.

This was the first meeting which Anastasiades had with Spehar after his re-election as President of Cyprus. The situation in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone was discussed during the meeting as drillship Saipem 12000, commissioned by Italian energy company ENI, was halted last Friday by Turkish warships en route to a location within block 3 of Cyprus’ EEZ.

Spehar said their meeting was very good, noting that she was pleased to be able to meet with Anastasiades for the first time in a while in order to congratulate him on his re-election. “I am here of course at his request and we had a very good conversation I believe. I was here principally to listen to him. He expressed his concerns about what is happening with respect to the hydrocarbon issue. These are concerns that we understand and which we are conveying to New York,” she said.

“We also discussed the issue of the reflection period that has been going on since Crans Montana after the closing of the Conference on Cyprus. You might recall that the Secretary General had recommended that all of the parties reflect after Crans Montana to see how a meaningful results oriented process might resume,” she added.

She noted that they had some preliminary discussions about that, and that she reassured the President “that we remain available for undertaking the good offices of the Secretary General.”

Asked if she will also have a meeting with Akinci after meeting with Anastasiades, Spehar said she did plan to reach out to Akinci as well.