UN Holds Back Cyprus Envoy Until Unity Talks Progress

FILE - A general view show the Turkish delegation and Turkish Cypriot delegation on the left side, the UN delegation on the center, and the Greek Cypriot delegation and Greek delegation on the right side at the beginning of a new round of the conference on Cyprus under the auspices of the United Nations, in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 28, 2017. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)

With a long line of diplomats failing for decades to help broker reunification of Cyprus after an unlawful 1974 Turkish invasion, the United Nations won’t send another for now until there’s some movement between Cypriots and their Turkish counterparts.

That was the assessment of the President of the UN Security Council Vassily Nebenzia, a Russian, who said there’s going to be a pause in the body’s push for more talks after the last round fell apart in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.

American Jane Holl Lute, a former US Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security, was designated as the UN’s temporary envoy to try to restart unity talks that have failed for decades but the Turkish side is balking.

Lute, 62, was the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, formerly also Assistant Secretary-General for Mission Support in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Nebenzia told the Cyprus News Agency that “We had a special envoy being proposed,” without revealing who it was but said there have to be political developments on Cyprus first, with no sign they will resume.

he said but at the same time indicating that this would not be done before some things “Cyprus indeed we have I would call it a pause. Not much has been happening since those days when things didn’t go as many expected,” he said.

He mentioned the proposal by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint a special envoy to meet separately with the two leaders, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades an Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

The last negotiations fell apart when Akinci and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said they would never remove a Turkish army on the island and wanted the right to militarily intervene – invade further – when they wanted, which was too much even for Anastasiades, who had offered to let a Turkish-Cypriot share a rotating Presidency even though Turkey would still retain the occupied territory comprising the northern third of the divided island.