Eide remains optimistic about talks

UN Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said yesterday that his first objective was to bring the leaders of both communities back the negotiating table and reach a solution as soon as possible, ‘Cyprus Mail’ reports.

Following his meeting with President Dervis Eroglu, Eide reiterated that he understood and respected the fact that his proposal that the issue of hydrocarbons could be discussed in parallel with the talks had not gone down very well with either side.

He had been taking on board the views of both sides as to how the negotiations could restart and in the meanwhile, preparations for resuming the talks continued.

“I don’t know when the negotiations will resume but when the talks do resume we must move fast,” Eide said.

The Cyprus problem and the surrounding uncertainty had been going on for far too long. He added that both sides were reaching a point where they had to decide. Extra effort was required to get back to the negotiating table, he said.

“The UN has no enforcement mechanisms to draw anyone to a meeting,” Eide noted.

Asked if it was likely that the talks would resume before the Turkish Cypriot presidential elections in April 2015, Eide expressed optimism, however, remained unsure.

President Eroglu said that he had a fruitful meeting with Eide and his team and that the UN envoy had conveyed to him the latest views and response of the Greek Cypriot side. “Unfortunately, he did not get a positive response from south Cyprus,” Eroglu said.

He said he had told Eide that the Turkish Cypriot side was ready to resume talks from where they left off.

“Since it was they [Greek Cypriots] who left the negotiating table, we believe there will be a great benefit for Mr Anastasiades to return to the table without any preconditions. As I informed Mr Eide, my team and I are still sitting at the negotiating table. The important thing is for Mr Anastasiades to regain his health and return to the table,” he added, referring to the President’s upcoming heart surgery.

Eroglu said he called to wish him a speedy recovery ahead of time.

Eide has met with political parties on both sides yesterday and also met the Archbishop, among others. He leaves the island on Friday.

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