SASG Eide holds contacts with the leaders ahead of the resumption of the Cyprus talks

SASG Eide addresses  the media following meeting with Mr. Akinci 10042017

NICOSIA, 10 April 2017 – The Special Adviser of the Secretary-General (SASG) on Cyprus, Mr. Espen Barth Eide, this afternoon called on the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mustafa Akıncı, in Nicosia. The SASG today also spoke by phone with the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, who was in Spain. Mr. Eide’s contacts with the leaders come a day ahead of the resumption of the #Cyprustalks, which have been on hold for almost eight weeks.

Addressing the media following his meeting with Mr.Akıncı, SASG Eide said in his conversations with the leaders, he listened to expectations ahead of tomorrow’s meeting to try to ensure “we get the most optimal restart possible and that out of tomorrow can come a clear idea of how we structure the coming weeks so that we really focus on what is most important, and we really find a way which both leaders are comfortable with and which is shared in order to get everything on the table so we can see how we can bridge the outstanding issues.”

“I will do what I can with my team to be helpful, but my mandate has not changed – this remains a leader-led process,” he stressed. “I frequently read that I want to arbitrate; I definitely do not want arbitration, the leaders do not want arbitration, the Secretary-General of the UN does not want arbitration. This process shall be solved – if it will be solved – by Cypriots under a leader-led process. The manner in which I can be helpful is something I will ask them how do they want us to organise our support for them in the coming weeks.”

Mr. Eide noted that both time and trust had been lost due to the recent crisis.

“While the leaders can rebuild what they lost, both communities have been starting to ask even more serious questions about the credibility of this process, and I think it’s the responsibility of the leaders to invest again in building that inter-communal trust that is necessary, because we are discussing a series of practical issues about constitutional matters, property matters, security matters, but at the end of the day the two communities have to want to reunite and have to want to live together, and this is the responsibility of the leaders first and foremost but also for other actors in society,” he added. “It’s a very good thing that we will have this meeting tomorrow – I know from my conversations over the last week that they are very much motivated for coming back, they appreciate the fact that conditions are such that we can again meet, but that does not guarantee an effective outcome,” SASG Eide said.

“This is just a start, and I think that given the many months that we had before this crisis, basically all arguments were made and all positions were put on the table; this is really a time to wrap up and to really invest in seeing how these outstanding issues can be bridged,” he added. “I remain confident that it’s possible, but we need not only the opportunity, we need the will, and we will see in the coming days to which extent that is available.”

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