Ban telephones Anastasiades after Istanbul incident

Government Spokesperson Nicos Christodoulides has confirmed that a telephone conversation has taken place between President Nicos Anastasiades and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as efforts continue to put Cyprus peace talks back on track following this week's Istanbul incident.

According to a readout issued by the UN after the phone call, Ban expressed his full confidence in his Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide and encouraged the the two leaders in Cyprus to intensify their efforts reunify Cyprus.

The readout can be seen in full below:

"Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke today by telephone with President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus. With reference to recent events in Istanbul, the Secretary-General reiterated that the UN's policy on Cyprus, including towards the Republic of Cyprus as the member state of the UN, has not changed. The bi-communal dialogue that takes place under UN auspices aims at reaching a settlement of the Cyprus issue based on relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

The Secretary-General expressed his full confidence in the role played by his Special Adviser, Mr. Espen Barth Eide, promoting that goal, underlining that he has the support not only of himself but also that of the Security Council, the European Union and the wider international community.

The Secretary-General encourages the two leaders to intensify their efforts towards reunifying Cyprus, in a climate of mutual respect, in order to bring an end to the unacceptable status quo, in the interest of all Cypriots".

Ban had called President Anastasiades on Friday in a clear-the-air session to get everyone back on track. The Cyprus Weekly had previously reported that a telephone conversation was expected to take place between the two men.

Mutual trust between all parties in the settlement negotiations is at an all-time low with every move viewed with suspicion.

Cyprus says the United Nations mishandled a diplomatic kerfuffle involving the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci that led reunification talks being temporarily shelved.

President Anastasiades said he won't tolerate the United Nations' "bad handling" or allow the government to be "downgraded". He is expecting a clear statement clarifying that the Republic of Cyprus is one thing, and intercommunal dialogue is another.

A furious Anastasiades cancelled Friday's meeting after Akinci met Ban and attended a dinner for heads of state at the invitation of Turkey's president at the end of a UN-sponsored humanitarian summit in Istanbul.

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Thursday the UN had made a "mess of things" and was trying to deflect responsibility.

Source: In-Cyprus