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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsCyprusUN Envoy Says Cyprus Issue Could be Settled by Year-end

UN Envoy Says Cyprus Issue Could be Settled by Year-end

Espen Barth Eide wiki commonsProgress has been made in Cyprus talks and a solution by the end of the year is possible, albeit ambitious, the Norwegian U.N. special envoy for Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, said in an interview with Athens-Macedonian News Agency on Tuesday, following talks in Athens.
Eide was responding to a question by ANA regarding UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon’s statement earlier this year that a solution could be reached by the end of the year.
He said Ban’s statement echoed similar statements made earlier in the year by the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, adding it would require hard work to achieve.
“Yes I think it’s possible, it’s ambitious, if they are to reach this goal we need to work hard because we have outstanding issues, but we also have so much behind us that I think it is possible,” he said.
“The conversations we’re discussing in Athens is exactly about the issue of security and guarantees and how to involve the guarantor powers when we come to the moment when the international dimension will be on the table.”
On the issue of properties, Eide said “we’ve come a long way” and that there’s an agreement in principle but the two sides are still discussing an important element on how these principles will translate to practicalities.
On the issue of guarantees and security, the UN envoy admitted the starting positions of the two sides are opposing but noted that discussions have started on why the two communities have historically feared each other.
Asked about Cyprus’ right to explore its offshore resources, Eide said: “Any sovereign state has the right to explore its natural resources … but experience from modern history shows that conflict and energy mix badly. So if there is one good argument for seeking a solution it is the peaceful and long-term, stable exploitation of energy.”
He also said the attempted coup in Turkey brought no change in the position of two sides on the Cyprus issue. If anything it served “as a reminder of a neighborhood that you can’t take for granted and you better get this problem solved,” he said, noting he’s also referring to the refugee crisis and collapse of states in the region.
Source: ANA-MPA

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