Eide: Both lead­ers com­mit­ted to re­sume talks

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

A united Cyprus that would be com­pat­i­ble with EU stan­dards would be to the ben­e­fit of both Greek and Turk­ish Cypri­ots, the UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral’s Spe­cial Ad­viser Espen Barth Eide said on Tues­day af­ter a meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades, adding that he is en­cour­aged by the cli­mate cre­ated by the lead­ers of the two com­mu­ni­ties.

On Mon­day, he met with Turk­ish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak­inci and will host a din­ner for both lead­ers at the Le­dra Palace next Mon­day, May 11. Af­ter that, a date is ex­pected to be an­nounced for the re­sump­tion of the stalled peace talks.

“Th­ese are two lead­ers who tell me that they are se­ri­ously ded­i­cated and com­mit­ted to solv­ing the Cyprus prob­lem, that they are ready to re­sume ne­go­ti­a­tions with­out de­lay, and they both say in al­most ex­actly the same words that this is the mo­ment, it’s a unique op­por­tu­nity and there is not time to waste”, Eide said. Asked whether Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon is plan­ning to in­vite the lead­ers in the near fu­ture, he re­vealed that the UN chief will meet with Anas­tasi­ades in Moscow in a few days.

Re­ply­ing to a ques­tion about the role Turk­ish Prime Min­is­ter Re­cep Tayip Er­do­gan in the process, Eide ac­knowl­edged that “there are cer­tain as­pects of course which per­tain to the three guar­an­tor pow­ers and will also even­tu­ally have to be dealt with by all means.”

But then, he pointed out, “there are sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of is­sues which per­tain to Cyprus it­self and of course this will be fac­tored into ev­ery­thing we do.”

Asked whether the lead­ers will begin the talks with con­fi­dence build­ing mea­sures, he re­it­er­ated that the two lead­ers “are com­mit­ted to work­ing very hard to­gether to solve this prob­lem.” That means, he said, “that if they are go­ing to take new ini­tia­tives I think it’s ap­pro­pri­ate that they will come up with their ini­tia­tives.”

The May 11 din­ner is the first time the two lead­ers will meet af­ter Ak­inci won the lead­er­ship elec­tions in the north last month, giv­ing po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts a mild hope of progress as both men seem will­ing to ne­go­ti­ate a set­tle­ment.

Eide’s will re­main on the is­land un­til May 12 and will hold meet­ings with other rel­e­vant in­ter­locu­tors from the two sides to fi­nalise ar­range­ments for the re­sump­tion of fullfledged ne­go­ti­a­tions.

The Turk­ish Cypriot leader, whose com­ments about find­ing a lo­cal so­lu­tion to the di­vi­sion and oc­cu­pa­tion were crit­i­cised by Ankara, will see Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Racip Teyep Er­do­gan on Wed­nes­day.

Dur­ing his visit to Ankara, Ak­inci will be ac­com­pa­nied by the newly ap­pointed ne­go­tia­tor Ozdil Nami, who has taken part at var­i­ous lev­els of the ne­go­ti­a­tions dur­ing the past 15 years. His ap­point­ment was hailed by Turk­ish Cypriot politi­cians.

EU Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker sent a con­grat­u­la­tory let­ter to Ak­inci stat­ing that the de­ter­mi­na­tion to reach a com­pre­hen­sive agree­ment in the is­land is wel­comed and em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of re­sump­tion of ne­go­ti­a­tions as soon as pos­si­ble. Juncker stated in the let­ter that an agree­ment reached in Cyprus will be for the ben­e­fit of both com­mu­ni­ties in Cyprus, as well as for the Euro­pean Union and added that Euro­pean Com­mis­sion will con­tinue to give full sup­port to the ne­go­ti­a­tions to be restarted un­der the aus­pices of the UN.

Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades is ex­pected to talk to US Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den over the next few days, and meet with Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon and Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Satur­day, on the side­lines of the Victory Day Pa­rade.

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