UN Secretary-General Special Advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, made the following statement to the press after meeting separately with President Anastasiades and President Eroglu on Wednesday.
“Reasons why talks could not happen are gone, at least for the foreseeable future, and that that makes it possible to prepare for the resumption of talks in a structured, results oriented and fast manner,” said Eide.
“I have shared this perspective with both leaders today, with Mr. Anastasiades, representing the Greek Cypriot community and Mr. Dervis Eroglu, representing the Turkish Cypriot community, and they both agreed that the circumstances are now right.”
Eide said he strongly feels that 2015 is going to be a decisive year, that he hopes it will be a decisive one in the right direction.
“The conditions are in place,” he said. “We also have behind us a crisis that illustrates the broader dimensions of the Cyprus problem and why it is maybe more important than ever before to work towards a settlement in line with the Joint Declaration and the principles already laid out, both there, and also in the statement that was presented here on 17 September.”
He said the absence of a settlement was the big problem that all Cypriots share and he associated that with young people leaving the island, with investments that could have happened not happening, why the benefits of economies of scale had not yet been fully realised, and why it had been hard to prepare for Cyprus’s hydrocarbons phase of its history.
“I want to call on all Cypriots to realize that this is a decisive moment, not only for political leaders, but also for everybody living on this island,” said Eide.
He said he felt every single issue open for discussion could be resolved with dedication and sustained will and he said that while there was no date set for the resumption of talks, that would change once the outcome of the election in the north was known.
“I think that this is really a time to think strategically and not tactically,” he said. “Not only at the leaders’ level but across all elements of society, and understand that this is an opportunity that has to be grasped. It is a window of opportunity.”