Eide sees signs of progress on many is­sues

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral’s Spe­cial Ad­viser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide said dur­ing a visit to Athens on Tues­day that the so­lu­tion of the Cyprus prob­lem will be in line with the Euro­pean prin­ci­ples and the Coun­cil of Europe ju­rispru­dence, but at the same time will al­low Greek Cypri­ots and the Turk­ish Cypri­ots to main­tain some sense of con­ti­nu­ity as com­mu­ni­ties.

Eide met Greek For­eign Min­is­ter Nikos Kotzias for two hours with whom, he said, he had “a very con­struc­tive, long, sub­stan­tive con­ver­sa­tion.”

The diplo­mat re­ferred to the “dif­fi­cult” chap­ters of guar­an­tees and se­cu­rity, two “sig­nif­i­cant out­stand­ing is­sues that have to be tack­led,” he said.

“We need to cre­ate an out­come in Cyprus where both com­mu­ni­ties can feel safe and se­cure, not only in a phys­i­cal sense, but also as their cul­tural sur­vival as a unit, but in such a way that it does not in­fringe on the se­cu­rity of the other side,” Eide noted.

The UN Spe­cial Ad­viser said he didn’t want to say more ex­plic­itly on guar­an­tees, but noted that “it’s an im­por­tant is­sue” and that they need to see how the ar­range­ment that was put in place in 1960 will be adapted to the needs and re­al­i­ties of to­day.

Eide told the Greek press that they are work­ing very closely with the Euro­pean Union. “As we know, ac­quis com­mu­nau­taire is not, in prac­tice, in place for the north­ern part, the Turk­ish Cypriot part, of Cyprus. The am­bi­tion is that this will be a uni­fied Euro­pean coun­try, fully in line with all Euro­pean prin­ci­ples. And that’s why we have in­volved the Euro­pean Union much more than pre­vi­ously in the work that we are do­ing. And that’s been a very pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment”

Re­fer­ring to the lat­est devel­op­ments in the talks he said there has been “sig­nif­i­cant progress on some of the more dif­fi­cult is­sues over the last weeks and months”.

Eide un­der­lined that there is real will among all in­ter­ested par­ties to find so­lu­tions, be cre­ative and to think out­side the box to find a so­lu­tion, cre­ate a well-func­tion­ing fed­eral state that is bi­zonal, bi­com­mu­nal and in line with Euro­pean prin­ci­ples and prac­tices.

“This is really the mo­ment that has to be grasped to find the fi­nal so­lu­tion to their prob­lem, which is many decades old,” he added.

Asked if the UN peace­keep­ing force would re­main on the is­land af­ter a so­lu­tion he said that “the Cypri­ots want us, the UN, to be there in an im­ple­men­ta­tion phase, over­see­ing the tran­si­tion from what was to what will be­come.”

Eide will travel to New York next week to brief the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil again, as he does on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

The UN Spe­cial Ad­viser noted that the cur­rent round of ne­go­ti­a­tions has been go­ing on un­in­ter­rupt­edly since May, with­out any se­ri­ous cri­sis on the way, which is “quite un­usual”. The lead­ers have met 19 times, of­fi­cially and the ne­go­tia­tors 63 times.

The two ne­go­tia­tors, Andreas Mavroyian­nis and Nami, had their first meet­ing of the year on Tues­day.

The Cyprus News Agency re­ported that the ne­go­tia­tors pre­pared the meet­ing be­tween Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades and Turk­ish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak­inci that will take place on Thurs­day, Jan­uary 7, and con­tin­ued their dis­cus­sions on var­i­ous is­sues.

Sources noted that the meet­ing was “rather pro­ce­dural”, in view of the meet­ing of the lead­ers who will mainly dis­cuss the property is­sue and is­sues that have not yet been dis­cussed.

Mean­while, Res­o­lu­tion 70/235 on the Oceans and the Law of the Sea was ap­proved by the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly on De­cem­ber 23 that safe­guards the sov­er­eign rights of Cyprus

Ozdil as an is­land state and makes Cyprus a pol­icy maker as re­gards the rules on the law of the sea.

The res­o­lu­tion was adopted by 143 votes to 1 (Tur­key) and four ab­sten­tions (Venezuela, El Salvador, Mali and the Cen­tral African Repub­lic). It was formulated by Cyprus, Ja­pan, Mi­crone­sia, Monaco, the Nether­lands, New Zealand, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago.

The 55-page res­o­lu­tion deals with all as­pects on oceans and the law of the sea and calls for the UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral to present a re­port on th­ese is­sues at the 71st Gen­eral As­sem­bly meet­ing.

“The con­ven­tion safe­guards our rights in our seas and we want to co-for­mu­late the rules of the law of the sea,” a For­eign Min­istry of­fi­cial said, adding that since 1993, Tur­key has been the only coun­try to vote against the res­o­lu­tions, cit­ing “ex­ag­ger­ated de­mands con­cern­ing the con­ti­nen­tal shelf. They do not ac­knowl­edge that is­lands can have com­plete coastal zones and th­ese are is­sues that we want to se­cure our in­ter­ests”.

“We want to have ev­ery right and claim both con­ti­nen­tal shelf and ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zones and ex­ploit our un­der­wa­ter min­eral re­sources which Tur­key doubts”, the of­fi­cer added.

The con­ti­nen­tal shelf, the EEZ and oth­ers are part of cus­tom­ary in­ter­na­tional law there­fore Tur­key has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­spect them, even if it has not signed the con­ven­tion. And by fol­low­ing th­ese rules, Tur­key is con­tin­u­ally ex­posed, the of­fi­cial said.

Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades had sus­pended his par­tic­i­pa­tion in the peace talks fol­low­ing a Nav­i­ga­tional Telex or NAVTEX, is­sued by Tur­key in Oc­to­ber 2014, as the Turk­ish seis­mic re­search ves­sel “Bar­baros” vi­o­lated the Repub­lic’s EEZ. The Turk­ish NAVTEX ex­pired last April and Bar­baros left Cyprus’ EEZ.

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