It’s make or break time, UN Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide says. There is no better time than now to find a solution to the Cyprus problem he told Turkish daily Halkin Sesi in New York, after he met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
There are not many unresolved issues left in the talks Eide said, calling on both sides to seize the opportunity.
“There is a looming crisis on the horizon that has to do with natural gas in July. I don’t believe it will go away on its own. On the contrary, I see it approaching,” Eide said.
Eide had made some suggestions regarding progressing the talks to Guterres, after a rocky couple of months when both sides have been highly critical about each other’s level of commitment to resolving the problem.
“We are ready to walk with you together, but we won’t do the walking for you,” Eide said in a message apparently addressed to all on both sides.
Eide has denied suggestions that the UN was about to impose a solution on the Cypriots. “It is neither an arbitration issue nor a new Annan plan.”
“You have to walk this path until the end and you have to decide. You will solve the problem by establishing a federation or by some other way, you will move towards other alternatives. This is not a decision we will take for you. We can only help you,” Eide said.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has asked for more involvement by the UN, [more than what President Nicos Anastasiades would like], he said noting that both leaders would need to agree in order for the UN to step up their involvement.
The two community leaders will have a review at the end of May, as whether or not to hold another conference in Geneva.
In another report, Cyprus Weekly writes that despite the cooling off of relations between Anastasiades and Akinci, insiders say that negotiators Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami have been making plenty of progress in the talks.
Some reports even go as far as to accuse Anastasiades and Akinci – who are scheduled to meet this Thursday and on May 17, of putting their own communities’ agendas ahead of the ongoing negotiations.