NICOSIA, 3 August 2017 – The Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Cyprus, Mr. Espen Barth Eide, this week paid his last visit to the island in his official capacity.
Following separate meetings with the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mustafa Akıncı, SASG Eide hosted a farewell reception at the historic Ledra Palace Hotel.
In attendance were the two leaders, Turkish Cypriot negotiator Mr. Ozdil Nami, Greek Cypriot negotiator Mr. Andreas Mavroyiannis, deputy SASG Ms. Eizabeth Spehar, dignitaries and officials from across the island, civil society figures and members of the international community.
In his remarks, Mr. Eide expressed his disappointment that despite years of intense work by the leaders, their negotiators and a wide array of local and international supporters, a solution continues to elude the island.
He said over the 27 months of negotiations, he “learnt a lot, but probably not enough”.
“The UN role is to be a facilitator, and we will always be at the disposal of the parties. The UN does not give up on Cyprus, it needs to know there is a process, which can only be owned by the Cypriots,” SASG Eide said.
“I leave very, very confident that the best solution in Cyprus is a united federal Cyprus in line with European principles, bi-zonal bi-commal. These are the UN parameters, I believe in them, we in the UN at least believe in them,” he added.
On 4 August, Mr. Akıncı held a cocktail in honour of SASG Eide. On the SASG’s last day on the island, 5 August, he spent time with friends at the bi-communal Buyuk Han Coffee Club.
Mr. Eide remains in his role as SASG, and in the coming weeks will be preparing reports on the talks and the work of the UN’s Good Offices mission.
**For the full video of Mr. Eide’s remarks during the reception & photos of his farewell events, visit our Facebook page.