This is the ‘moment of truth’ says UN envoy ahead of international conference on Cyprus

At the Cyprus Talks, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, and the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, meet with Michael Møller, Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva and Espen Barth Eid, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General. UN Photo/Violaine Martin

9 January 2017 – Speaking ahead of an international conference on Cyprus, the United Nations Special Adviser on the country stressed that the coming days would be crucial for the resolution of the remaining matters, and said that while the path ahead is “going to be difficult,” a solution is possible.

“It’s going to be difficult because obviously, even if the majority of issues have been solved in all chapters, it is not the easiest questions that we have left until the end,” Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide told the media in Geneva, where talks, prior to the conference, are ongoing between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot delegations.

“But it’s also possible because I don’t know any issue in these negotiations that really cannot be solved, if sufficient will is available,” he added.

The international conference will start on 12 January at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. It is being held under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, who will open and chair the event, and will also see the participation of the guarantor powers – Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom – as well as the European Union (EU) in a special observer role, together with the delegation from Cyprus. Together, the participants will try to solve issues pertaining to the security and guarantees chapter.

We are now in the final moment. We are really at the moment of truth. This is where we actually will find out if this can be solved.Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide

“All these parties are necessary because we are discussing a security arrangement around the embryonic federal solution in Cyprus, which has to involve both the guarantor powers because of the existence of three treaties, which are still valid, and of course also the EU in the sense that this united country if it ever becomes a reality will be a full member of the EU, so this is the reason for this particular setup,” he added.

The Special Adviser further noted that while the UN is facilitating the conference, the talks are fully led and owned by the Cypriots.

“The two leaders are the ones who are responsible now, but at the end of the day, through referenda, in the two communities in Cyprus, it will be all Cypriots who make up their mind about this,” he explained.

UN Special Adviser: Cyprus talks will be ‘difficult’ but ‘possible.’ Credit: UN News Centre

Further noting that the success, historic for the Cypriots, would also send a strong signal in the region where there are many wars and many things breaking apart.

Quoting Staffan de Mistura, the UN Special Envoy for Syria said: “a sign of some progress could be helpful also for other processes around the world.”


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A settlement to Cypriot dispute ‘closer than ever before, but there’s still a way to go’ – UN Special Adviser

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