Special Adviser of the UN Secretary General for Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, believes that the Cyprus problem is completely solvable, but it takes confidence, will and leadership”, noting that now all these are present simultaneously.
“This momentum should not be allowed to perish,” he stressed, adding that the greatest achievement of the negotiations is the almost totally changed behavior that exists.
Eide described the current phase of the negotiations and referred to the importance of the recognition by both sides of the European character of the solution.
He said that much remains to be done and several months of hard work before reaching a political agreement and enough time for drafting the constitution. He also said that the talks now concern not only the issue of governance, but cover all aspects. In relation to the three guarantors powers (UK, Greece and Turkey) of Cyprus` independence and territorial integrity, he said that he is in contact with all three and discuss how and when to work on these issues.
With regard to the direct involvement of the UN Secretary General in the talks, he noted that Ban Ki-moon is in contact with him and the leaders and is fully briefed, but will be involved when his presence is considered more useful.
Eide said that the role of the EU representative in negotiations will be both a meaningful one and also advisory. Eide said: “Definitely he will have a meaningful role, we want him and not only him, but we also want the Commission. Juncker and I agreed that the Commission is not only sending a person; it’s organizing its internal work across directorate generals to make sure that they are helpful, particularly in two fronts. One, to help us identify how to make the settlement fully compatible with the EU principles and acquis. The other one is how to work with the institutions of the Turkish Cypriot side, so they are ready for EU membership, when the whole island is a de-facto member.