UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide is set to have a series of meetings on the island in an effort to help resume the negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities, with a view to reunite the country.
“He is in a listening mode and has returned to Cyprus after the talks in Mont Pelerin to facilitate the leaders’ led process” reliable sources close to the talks have told CNA, adding that Eide will “listen to what the two leaders have to say” on how they can return to the negotiating table.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in peace talks since May last year. The latest effort, in Mont Pelerin, ended inconclusively and there was no agreement on the criteria on territorial adjustments, to help the process move forward.
Eide, the same sources suggest, is not bringing any ideas nor is he putting forward any ideas of his own. Through shuttle diplomacy, he is trying to facilitate the resumption of the talks, they noted.
The UN, they pointed out, will not force any side to accept any proposal for a conference, in a reference to what many describe as the final phase of the talks, an international conference which will address security concerns and the issue of guarantees.
The UN official will meet tomorrow with the leaders of the ruling Democratic Rally party DISY Averof Neofytou and the General Secretary of the main opposition party AKEL, Andros Kyprianou. He is also expected to talk to other players involved in the Cyprus question, before his departure, which is planned for Thursday, barring unexpected developments.
Eide, who met today with Anastasiades and Akinci, has no further meetings planned with the two leaders in the coming days.
He will however have two meetings with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who arrives on Wednesday morning. Johnson will be received by President Anastasiades and meet Akinci, and following these two meetings, he will see Eide again.
In the meantime, the UN Security Council intends to issue its report on Cyprus in mid December and Eide is expected to brief Council members about developments in the peace process. However, if there are any developments in the next two weeks, the briefing is likely to be postponed for January.
Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. Repeated rounds of UN-led talks have not led to a negotiated agreement so far. The latest round began in May last year and this month Anastasiades and Akinci, at the latter’s request, had intensive talks in Mont Pelerin on the territorial issue but these did not result in an agreement. President Anastasiades has stressed that he is ready to return to the negotiating table and continue the effort towards reunification.