Crans Montana conference is a chance for big discussions and big progress, says British High Commissioner

British High Commissioner Mathew Kidd said on Friday that next week’s Conference on Cyprus at Crans Montana, in Switzerland, is a chance for big discussions and big progress to be made, noting his country is a junior participant in the discussion at the Conference.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the Conference, on June 28, Kidd, invited to comment on reports about a Treaty of Implementation that will be under discussion, said I think it is a new concept that is worthy of serious discussion next week in Switzerland and that should help to identify whether it can be a useful part of the answer.

However he underlined that it is an an idea that it’s not yet cooked but it is certainly worth trying to develop.

Asked about the initial draft of a common document on security and guarantees and whether London wishes to make changes to the draft, Kidd said that I hope that the paper can be a guide to the discussion, sort of a structure for the discussion next week rather than becoming something which gets negotiated in detail in itself.

On his expectations from Crans Montana, Kidd said I hope we can make really good progress. I think it’s a moment in which the parties have all been preparing themselves for serious discussion. We have had time to reflect on the beginnings of the discussion in Switzerland in January and the timing is going to be there, the opportunity is going to be there, to take a really important step forward.

To a question if this is the end of the road in Crans Montana for Cyprus, the British diplomat said I think that’s a kind of an unhelpful way of thinking about it. It’s an opportunity, it’s not a threat. It’s a chance actually for big discussions, big progress to be made and all the right people will be there to get somewhere really important.

Asked how best the UK can help in bringing forward the discussions, he said what we like to think we can do is to be a junior participant in the discussion. We are there but we don’t have the same fundamental interests at stake as others do so that gives us a chance to support the discussion, to enrich the discussion to be part, challenging the discussion to help keep it focused on outcomes and that’s what we will try to do, in a subordinate way and in a respectful way knowing that others have vital interests at stake and we are there just to help the process along.

A draft common document on security and guarantees prepared by UN Secretary Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide was delivered to both the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides earlier this week.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island’s northern third. President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

Anastasiades, accompanied by the political party leaders, will travel to Crans Montana, Switzerland, where the Conference on Cyprus will reconvene on June 28. The common document drafted by Eide aims to guide the discussions on the issue of security and guarantees.

Also participating are Akinci, as well as Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom as guarantor powers, and in the presence of the European Union as an observer.

Source: Cyprus News Agency