UN Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said that good efforts are on the way and expressed the view that it will not take too much time before the leaders in Cyprus resume the talks aiming to solve the Cyprus issue. Answering to a question he also did not rule out the possibility the talks to resume in March.
The current phase of talks came to an impasse when Turkish Cypriot leader left the negotiating table, after a decision passed by the Cypriot Parliament for a brief reference in schools of the 1950`s referendum on union with Greece, claiming this indicates a shift in the Greek Cypriot side`s goal for a federal solution.
Eide met Wednesday for an hour with President Anastasiades, after meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in an effort to keep the momentum and help the leaders get back to the talks, the Cyprus News Agency reports.
Speaking to journalist after his meeting with Anastasiades, Eide said that both meetings with the leaders very clearly confirm that “we are looking for the way to overcome this current impasse because there`s a dedication to make this work”.
“There`s still some work that needs to be done but good efforts are on the way and I don`t think it will take too much time before we can again see the leaders together”. Saying that he didn`t have a date or a particular piece of news on exactly when and how, he pointed out that promising efforts are on the way. He also said that there's not that much time available.
Asked if there are still preconditions to get back to the table, he said that “it requires a certain amount of mutual accommodation”.
In a question whether the dialogue will resume this month or early April he said that it would be very good if it could resume it this month. “I don`t have a date to share but it`s not impossible”, he said.
He added that he also discussed with the leaders how to better use their time when they are back in the negotiations and that both leaders raised some good ideas about that.
Replying to press reports, Eide clarified that he`s against any UN arbitration in the process.
“I will say that as clear as I can and I hope people take notes, I`m against arbitration, it has not happen on my watch, it`s not happening now and it will not happen”, he said, pointing out that the UN tried that in 2004 and it did not work. He added that when he came in Cyprus he insisted on the importance of Cypriot ownership and a leader -led process.
Eide also said that in Thursday he will be briefing the Secretary General and the whole top management of the UN, together with UNSG`s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spechar, on progress in the talks and also on developments in the peace keeping mission. As he said “there`s a strong interest there on what is happening now and what we can do to help and what would be the role of the UN as we move forward in the longer term, because planning is going on in New York.”
Eide also said that next week he will be in Brussels to meet with the Commission`s President Jean-Claude Juncker, other Commissioners and key people working on the issue, in order to keep the momentum of the European support.
On behalf of the Government , Deputy Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos expressed the hope the Turkish Cypriot leader to change his attitude and return to the negotiating table from where he walked out.
He added that in the meeting with Eide, President Anastasiades reiterated that at any moment he is ready to resume the dialogue, as it was not the President who he left the negotiating table but Akinci.
At the same time he said that the Deputy Spokesman the President and the Greek Cypriot side will not work under any terms posed by others.