Eide remains hopeful despite stand off

Turkish Cypriot President Dervis Eroğlu stated that North Cyprus will no longer accept any preconditions prior to resuming the Cyprus negotiations, ‘Kibris Postasi’ reports.

Eroğlu who met with the UNSG’s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said they would be evaluating a proposal made by Eide. He did not specify the contents other to indicate he was not particularly in favour of it.

He reiterated that it was Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades who abandoned the talks and once again accused the Greek Cypriots of not wanting to continue the talks.

He said he accepted the joint declaration signed in February and he was ready to continue under that agreement without any further conditions being added.

On the thorny subject of hydrocarbons, Eroğlu suggestion the formation of a joint committee in order to discuss the extraction and marketing of natural gas, which he believes belongs to both communities.

Despite entrenched attitudes, Eide said yesterday he remained “realistically optimistic” that the two communities could set aside the stand off over the hydrocarbons row and resume peace talks, ‘Cyprus Mail’ reports.

Speaking to the media after a long meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades at the Presidential Palace, the UN official said it was necessary for the leaders of the communities to reach an agreement. Recently he said that not finding a solution could be “quite dangerous”.

Asked about the likelihood of the talks resuming, Eide said he was not expecting a deal to be made that day. He also said that the two hour long talk indicated that: “Good meetings always take time.”

Eide said that both sides needed to keep their eyes on the future and when asked what ideas he had for resuming the peace talks, Eide said: “I have a number of ideas which you can call a formula or package”, adding that “it is too early to reveal the details because I am still in discussions with both sides and nothing has been agreed so far, nor did I expect anything to be agreed”.

“But I want to insist on which is my main message, that both leaders agree that hydrocarbons will be part of the shared future of a united Cyprus. There is a striking agreement on the future and almost no agreement on the present,” he added.

Asked whether he believed that the issue of natural gas should be put on the negotiating table, he said that “if the table means UN table, that is up to the sides”.

Speaking to reporters, Greek Cypriot government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said that Anastasiades and Eide discussed “a range of ideas” on how peace talks might resume.

“There has been no conclusion. We welcome Mr. Eide’s efforts,” Christodoulides said. He stressed that it was important for everyone in Cyprus to discuss what will happen in the future when there is a unified island.

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