UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide has said that the Cyprus talks session that will take place in Switzerland on November 7-11 is important because it will give even better clarity on whether the goal to achieve a solution in the course of this year is achievable or not.
The UN-led Cyprus peace talks will continue in Mont Pelerin, in Switzerland, on 7 – 11 November, the UN announced on Wednesday evening, following a meeting between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
In statements after a meeting he had on Thursday with House President Demetris Syllouris, Eide said that there has been significant progress in the talks, but also we are all of us very clear that very important issues are yet to be settled, including the issue of territorial re-adjustments and the issue of security and guarantees of course which will I hope follow soon.
He added that Anastasiades and Akinci yesterday reiterated their dedication to do their utmost to seek a solution in the course of this year. “That is of course ambitious but I judge this is still possible and the Switzerland meeting is important because it will give even better clarity on whether this goal is achievable in this time-frame or not,” he noted.
Referring to his meeting with Syllouris he said that they spent some time on discussing what will happen in Switzerland “because last night, just before midnight the two leaders, Mr Anastasiades and Mr. Akinci, agreed that they will hold their next intensified session in Switzerland, in Mont Pelerin, in the canton of Vaud, the main topic of course being on the territorial issue.”. Furthermore he noted the two leaders` willingness to discuss all open issues in all the chapters.
Eide said they also discussed with Syllouris something that “is extremely important, that the united federal Cyprus that the leaders with my assistance are trying to build the foundations of, is solidly rooted in Europe, European principles, those of the EU and those of the Council of Europe and in line with what is said in the joint declaration – a bizonal, bicommunal federation fully, respecting the principle upon which the EU is built.”
“This is a key. And for that reason we have a solid involvement now of the European Commission, of the European Central Bank and of international financial institutions in ensuring that we do not only get the politics right, but also that we get the economic sustainability of the new federal state right, and that we can safely say that united federal Cyprus, a country of all Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike, will be a well functioning European democracy,” he noted.
And this is something we spent some time on and I think we see eye to eye on these issues, Eide concluded.
On his part, Syllouris expressed hope that there will be a good outcome of the talks in Switzerland, noting that if everything goes on well, then there will be a comprehensive settlement plan, “which we will be able to see in a positive way if it is based on the unanimous decision of the National Council”.
He noted that they had a very good meeting with Eide who briefed him on the negotiations and underlined that it is a common belief that the settlement of the Cyprus problem must be based on the European principles and values and accommodate and implement the acquis communautaire and human rights.
Syllouris added that this will safeguard a right settlement of the Cyprus problem and the viability of the solution.
Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May last year, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.