Addressing a farewell reception at Ledra Palace, UNSG Special Representative, Lisa Buttenheim has said that the opening of Derynia and Aplic/Lefke crossing points in Famagusta and Nicosia Districts respectively is moving ahead.
On Friday she said, “The two crossings agreed by the leaders last year, Derynia and Lefke Aplic, are both moving ahead”, she said. Maybe not as quickly as we might have hoped, she added, “but they are both moving ahead and I can say that because I know.”
Buttenheim said that “the opening of crossings makes a huge positive difference to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.”
It important, she noted, “to see the leaders remain committed to breaking down the barriers that divide the island.”
She also expressed gratitude for the “painstaking and dangerous” work carried out by the Cambodian demining teams without which, the opening of crossings would not have been possible.
Buttenheim also said that “today, Cyprus is closer to a solution than it has been in a long while.”
“To depart when the talks are going well with two leaders who are deeply committed to reunifying this island, renews my conviction that a comprehensive, just and sustainable settlement is possible and truly within reach,” she noted.
Lisa Buttenheim will take up the position of Assistant Secretary-General for Field Support at Headquarters and will be succeeded by Canadian Elizabeth Spehar.