‘Cru­cial months ahead’ from Oc­to­ber

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The months ahead will be cru­cial to­wards reach­ing a so­lu­tion to the Cyprus prob­lem, the UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral’s Spe­cial Ad­viser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said on Tues­day af­ter meet­ing Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades.

Eide de­scribed the talks ear­lier in the day be­tween Anas­tasi­ades and Turk­ish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak­inci af­ter a sum­mer break as “very in­ter­est­ing”.

“We are ba­si­cally now dis­cussing how to move for­ward and what are the next steps, and how we can con­tinue to build on this mo­men­tum that we have”, the UN diplo­mat added.

The two leader’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives had been work­ing hard last week to agree on the agenda for the day’s meet­ing, where re­ports sug­gested the prop­erty is­sue was once again high on the pri­or­ity list.

Eide said that there is still a lot of work to be done, “there are is­sues that we have yet to go into and then there are is­sues where we have strate­gic un­der­stand­ing and we need to fill in the de­tails and there’s a lot of work in the de­tail in or­der to get all this right”.

“The ba­sic mes­sage is: strong, ef­fec­tive lead­er­ship lead­erled process mov­ing for­ward, but as we move for­ward we also find ar­eas that we have to deeper look into”, he added.

Em­pha­sis­ing the good mood, Eide said “the trust is strong and in­creas­ing with ev­ery meet­ing and what I re­ally want to say is that I am deeply im­pressed by the two lead­ers, the way they are able to work to­gether hon­estly, be­ing clear on their po­si­tions but also try­ing to ac­com­mo­date and find ways to un­der­stand the other side”. He said good at­ti­tude doesn’t solve all prob­lems but “it cre­ates the best pos­si­ble frame­work in which we try to over­come the quite im­por­tant is­sues that are still there”.

Eide said there will be a new lead­ers’ meet­ing on Septem­ber 14 and many ne­go­tia­tors’ meet­ings be­tween that “and af­ter that is the Gen­eral Assem­bly of the UN and when the Gen­eral Assem­bly is done, we are into Oc­to­ber, and I think the months from then will be very decisive when it comes to re­ally pack­ing all this to­gether into some­thing that can fi­nally be agreed”.

Asked if the UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral will meet the lead­ers to­gether in New York, Eide said Ban ki Moon will meet both of them, but sep­a­rately.

Af­ter the meet­ing at the UN-con­trolled area of the old Nicosia air­port, Eide said the two lead­ers con­cen­trated their dis­cus­sion on the cur­rent state of play, and in par­tic­u­lar on prop­erty and gov­er­nance-re­lated mat­ters and that they reaf­firmed their com­mit­ment to main­tain and build upon these ef­forts be­tween now and their next meet­ing.

Re­call­ing that the ne­go­tia­tors met 11 times, Eide said that An­dreas Mavroyian­nis and Ozdil Nami in­creased the fre­quency of their meet­ings and deep­ened their dis­cus­sions on core is­sues to push for­ward progress both lead­ers want to see. “They have main­tained their clear fo­cus on reach­ing a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial so­lu­tion for all. When nec­es­sary they have called upon the pres­ence of mem­bers of the Work­ing Groups of Ex­perts, par­tic­u­larly on is­sues re­lated to prop­erty, the econ­omy and EU mat­ters,” he noted, adding that the Work­ing Groups of Ex­perts have also met sep­a­rately, equipped with guid­ance from the ne­go­tia­tors.

How­ever, in ear­lier com­ments Anas­tasi­ades said he was “cau­tiously op­ti­mistic” af­ter the po­si­tions put for­ward by the other side in Tues­day’s meet­ing.

He also had a tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion with Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker with whom they dis­cussed the latest de­vel­op­ments on the Cyprus prob­lem and re­ferred to the sup­port­ing role that the EU can play in the on­go­ing di­a­logue.

On his part Juncker ex­pressed the will­ing­ness and readi­ness of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to con­trib­ute to the on­go­ing ef­fort for a so­lu­tion to the Cyprus prob­lem.

Anas­tasi­ades and EC Pres­i­dent also dis­cussed the de­vel­op­ments in the eastern Mediter­ranean, with em­pha­sis on the energy sec­tor, and un­der­lined the added value that the ex­ploita­tion of the (nat­u­ral gas) re­serves in the area will have in the ef­forts of the EU to cre­ate a new energy route to the mem­ber states of the Union.

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