UN Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide met with President Mustafa Akinci on Friday morning.
The latest developments in the Cyprus negotiations were discussed during the meeting attended by the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim, Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozdil Nami, Foreign Ministry under-secretary Erhan Ercin and Akinci’s spokesman Baris Burcu.
Speaking after the two hour meeting, Eide said that the process is in a very dynamic phase. He said that bi-lateral meetings are extremely helpful in seeing and understanding how the two sides see the situation at the moment as well as planning for the months ahead.
“We had a very comprehensive, rich and positive discussion about where we stand right now as we go into the summer break and what we will do when we pick up after summer. As usual it was very pleasant, useful and honest conversation“, he said.
Eide also noted that he had briefed the UN Security Council a week ago and that all 15 members had expressed full support and strong encouragement to the leaders and the process. “They commended them on the excellent work they are doing. They also reminded them that time is of the essence and that this is a window of opportunity that must be grasped”, Eide said.
The UN Special Advisor pointing to the Resolution on UNFICYP said that it is very seldom that the UN Security Council is unanimous in something. “The fact that the two leaders have the support of the highest body in the world and that this support is unanimous is very unique and very positive”, he said.
Eide however reminded that a solution in Cyprus is to be found by the two sides in Cyprus. “I don’t think that the two sides will get a better chance than the one they have right now to solve the Cyprus problem”, he reiterated.
Commenting on recent reports in the press that the bi-zonal nature of the settlement to be reached is being watered down, Eide said that this in no way reflects the truth. “The premise of our discussions is to create a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation that is in line with European values and principles as spelled out in the 11th February Joint Declaration. That has not changed at all. Anyone who says otherwise has simply got it wrong. Nobody is giving up on those principles”, he concluded.