President Mustafa Akıncı received the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix on Thursday, who was on the island for contacts on both sides.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the UN Under-Secretary-General said that he had held a very good meeting with President Akıncı.
Stating that he was in Cyprus to visit UNFICYP to see how it was fulfilling its mandate, Lacroix said that he had conveyed to President Akıncı the UN’s appreciation for the Turkish Cypriot side’s cooperation.
“It’s important for us of course, it’s essential to be able to continue to work in close cooperation of the two sides and this is something that we discussed and how to make sure that we continue to have this cooperation. Our role is to be a partner for peace to prevent any tension and to make sure by doing this that we create a better atmosphere and we work for stability on the island”. he said.
Asked a question about the future of Ledra Palace hotel in the UN Buffer zone currently occupied by the UN troops, Lacroix said “Ledra palace will continue to be occupied by UN but there will be changes, we will continue to use part of it, actually the ground floor. The other floor, let’s put it the contingency, essentially the UK contingency will move to UNFICYP headquarters but it will continue to be used by UN”.
Later in the day he visited the lab of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP).
The UN official was briefed by the committee members on efforts to locate remains of missing persons and on the activities of the lab.
During his two-day visit Lacroix, who arrived on Wednesday, also met with UNFICYP peacekeepers, visited the mixed village of Pile, held contacts on both sides and spoke at an event to mark International Women’s Day.
First set up in 1964, UNFICYP is one of the longest-running UN Peacekeeping mission in the world.