Eide says UN remain committed in supporting Cyprus process on existing parameters

The UN remain committed to supporting a process on the existing parameters for a solution of the Cyprus issue, UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor for Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide said on Monday, after being received by the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades.

In statements to journalists after the meeting, Eide said that unfortunately the Conference on Cyprus that took place in Crans Montana, Switzerland 28 June � 7 July failed to lead to the desired outcome.

Since then, he said, he has been to New York to brief the Security Council and also had “very deep discussions with the Secretary General about the way ahead” and spoke to all interested parties represented in New York.

“And now I am here partly to share some of my impressions with the leaders from the NY meetings but more importantly to listen to them and to hear from Mr Anastasiades and Mr Akinci later today where they think we stand, where the process is and frankly what they would like us to do,” he noted.

He reiterated that the UN remains committed to supporting a process on existing parameters, saying that this was confirmed by the UNSG and by the Security Council.

Eide pointed out that “we have a complicated situation, I think it is fair to say, much was achieved in Crans Montana but we were not able to stich it together to a final deal, that was a blow I think to everybody involved, and the question is what we can do now.”

He said that he would know more when he has seen the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci later in the day.

“I had a very open and very constructive conversation with Mr Anastasiades and hope to have a similar conversation with Mr Akinci,” he said.

Invited to clarify the Turkish position, given that he himself said that Turkey never said that it wants the Treaty of Guarantees to continue forever, while the Turkish Foreign Minister expressed a different opinion, Eide said that “Turkey has been clear all the time that they can not except both zero guarantees and zero troops that was their line throughout the conference. A lot of things happened during the Conference. We were working towards an outcome on security -I mean the UNSG and myself – that we think could have worked at the end of the day as part of a final package but that would then lead to the end of guarantees and intervention rights but it would keep some troops at least for some time and where we were not ready to agree was on the issue of the longevity of those troops.”

‘Many of these conversations were confidential. And hence it is difficult to say much more than I already said. My main focus now is where we go from here,” he said. He expressed the view that the problem was that we were not able to arrive at a total package.

“If we were able to arrive at a total package as the SG and I had hoped, some of these issues would have been cleared. But there were some outstanding issues. These discussions were deeply confidential. The parties had their official positions which were proposed and they also shared all the ideas with us confidentially and we have to keep them confidential,” he said.

Asked why the UNSG closed the Conference if we were near to a breakthrough, as Eide said, the UNSG’s Special Advisor said that ‘the UNSG’s good offices, meaning his political disposition to help the sides will never close. They will continue to be there. This particular conference, the conference on Cyprus was closed but in principle one can meet again if the sides agree but it requires an agreement between all the involved sides and an agreement on which basis to negotiate.”

He said that they had developed some ideas, basically six main questions, two of them on security and guarantees, four of them on internal issues.

“It remains my conviction that if we had been able to solve all six of them in one go we would have at this time have the strategic breakthrough. I am not giving up, the UN is not giving up, but at the same time I do not want to create any false illusions, I want to be honest about the fact that all of us recognized that the situation after Crans Montana is difficult and I simply do not want to make too many observations on my own, before I heard both leaders and what they have to say,” he pointed out.

Asked if there is a prospect that there may be any developments before the end of the year, he said that there is no concrete idea as of now, ‘but nobody would be more happy than me and the UN in general if there was an opportunity to do what we were not able to do in Crans Montana but it is not up to us to decide, we have been extremely loyal to the leader led process and it has to remain like that. We fascilitate and they negotiate.”

He added that the UN need the shared desire from the two sides to continue.

As far as his position as UNSG’s Special Advisor is concerned, Eide said that it has been known for many months that because there are elections in Norway he will take part and had said that for those reasons he would leave anyway.

But he said that he has been remaining in his post because the UNSG wanted him to stay. “What I am doing now is to try to see what is the best advice I can give him, after Crans Montana, after seeing the two leaders, I am his special advisor, and we want to know if there is a process, on what terms this process can take place,” he said.

Concluding, he said that he has to prepare a report for the UNSG and that he will do that before he leaves.

Source: Cyprus News Agency