UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide wants to focus on the need for stability for energy companies to operate offshore Cyprus. He has suggested forming a think tank and finding ways of explaining to both the Greek and Turkish Cypriots the mutual benefits of hydrocarbon exploration in the region.
According to CNA, Eide will arrive in Cyprus on 7th November following visits to Ankara and Athens.
Eide, has met with Ban Ki-moon and UN Secretariat officials in New York and has also had meetings with the permanent representatives of Greece and Turkey and the acting permanent representative of [South] Cyprus as well as a representative of the Turkish Cypriots and ambassadors of the UN Security Council’s permanent member–states.
Although he appears to understand why the Greek Cypriots will not return to the negotiating table under the current circumstance, he has outlined the need for “mutual compromises”, which he believes means a return to negotiations.
Talks were suspended when Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades walked away from the negotiations after Turkey issued a marine notification that it would be operating a seismic research vessel in [South] Cyprus’ EEZ. The South has accused Turkey of being deliberately provocative.
Officials from Greece and [South] Cyprus maintain that the topics of hydrocarbon exploration and the sovereign rights of [South] Cyprus could not be included in the Cyprus talks.
Despite this, the UN SG’s Special Adviser is said to have seemed optimistic that his ideas will help re-ignite the talks – if the current obstacles can be overcome.