UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide said that hydrocarbon reserves off the coast of Cyprus are related to Cyprus negotiations and this connection cannot be interrupted .
He added that the Turkish seismic explorationvessel Barbaros was only a part of the jigsaw puzzle alongside other pieces.
In a telephone interview to Cyprus Weekly published in South Cyprus, Eide said that there is a deadlock in Cyprus negotiations at the moment but this crisis shows the importance of restarting the negotiations.
The UN diplomat argued that how to relate the issue of hydrocarbons with the Cyprus problem is a matter depending on both sides, he added however this connection cannot be disregarded. Eide said “If you ask me it is a strong argument that everyone should double their efforts in order to reach a solution”. Responding to a question, Eide said he would not be able to comment on Turkey’s intentions and promises however he noted that seismic research vessel Barbaros was no longer in the EEZ of Cyprus.
The UN diplomat pointed out that there would be unbelievable benefits of a strong solution; however a strong economy based on oil and gas in case of a continuing division would not be promising. Eide added that he did not have an alternative proposal on the hydrocarbon issue however he indicated that this is an issue of the present time not future’s. Eide added “ Both sides should be focused on the long term benefits of a solution rather than short term crisis”.
As for the resumption of the talks, Eide said this was up to the sides and added that although he couldn’t give any date he is hopeful it will be soon. Furthermore, Eide said that he will be submitting a report to the UN Security Council on the 26th of January and will hold bilateral contacts at Davos summit which will also be attended by various world leaders.