Following his meeting to today with Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades, UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide warned that were not many chances left to reunify the island.
Despite this, he appeared optimistic that talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots side would resume.
Negotiations were halted in October last year when President Nicos Anastasiades walked away from the talks after Turkey decided to carry out seismic surveys inside the South’s exclusive economic zone.
“I think people have to realise that we cannot go on year after year without any progress, because this problem has remained unresolved for many decades,” Eide told the press after a meeting with Anastasiades. “At some stage there must be shared will to move on”, he said.
Eide said he felt the will did exist but in addition “there must be the right circumstances and if these circumstances occur we must be ready to grasp the opportunity and use it constructively.”
“There will not be many more chances, let me put it that way,” he said.
Eide said there was a growing sense that the circumstances that led to the suspension of talks may soon be over.
“Expectations are that within reasonable time we will be able to get back to a climate where we can not only talk again but maybe even see if those talks can be accelerated.”
“Sometimes crises can help clarify people’s mind and illustrate that there are bigger issues out there that we have to meet together. So, I am significantly more optimistic than last time you saw me”, he said.
The expiry on 6th April of the NAVTEX, which was issued by Turkey to announce its intention to carry out seismic surveys around Cyprus was a significant factor that would help to re-start the talks, Eide said.
“It seems that a window may be created where the mutual reasons for what has happened over winter are not there and if that momentum occurs we will use it. What we are trying to do now is to talk about what we will do if this is possible. Assuming that we are moving into a better space then we will accelerate talks and try to see how far we can get.”
Source Cyprus Mail