The UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said that the international community’s interest in and support for a Cyprus settlement has never been stronger. Eide underlined that the international community has started to express their opinions both on finance of the settlement and other dimensions.
“The international support for the process that is taking place here is in my view stronger than ever before” said Eide. “This was confirmed by the Security Council, which issued a unanimous resolution on UNFICYP underlining the unanimous support for the work that is being done by the two leaders in Cyprus” said Eide.
Touching upon the meeting between the two leaders; the UN Special Adviser said that the two leaders will determine how to move the process forward. Eide also said that it was of the utmost importance that the two leaders intensified their efforts towards achieving convergences on the most demanding of the issues at the table.
Today’s meeting between the two leaders will be the last of the three meetings scheduled for January. The schedule for next month’s leaders’ meetings is expected to be determined following today’s meeting.
Asked if he is optimistic about a Cyprus solution in the coming months, he said that this is not up to him, but up to the leaders, who in their New Year`s statement, as well as in Davos, expressed the same hope, optimism and a shared vision.
Responding to a question in regard to an initiative being undertaken by the Greek Cypriot leader to make Turkish an official EU language, Eide said that this was an important initiative and a positive development.
On the financing of the solution, Eide referred to serious work that is going on, both by the relevant technical committees, as well as the World Bank, the IMF and the EU. Eide said that private sector investors are also being engaged.
“Do we have the funds ready and all the money in the bank? Of course not” he said, but added that good work is being done on that. “Davos was helpful in that respect” he noted, adding that it has mobilized an even higher degree of interest.
“What all Cypriots should now do together with the leaders is to sell the story that a future united Cyprus – if it happens – is a very attractive place to come with some of that money. There is an economic opportunity and you have to mobilize international support, public and private,” he concluded.