The most difficult aspect of the Cyprus problem, property, was close to being resolved, UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide has said, but warned that it could be difficult to fully settle the matter.
In an interview with Turkey’s NTV, Eide said the issue of property was 90 per cent solved, but warned that the greatest difficulties could be faced in trying to settle the remaining 10 per cent.
Eide said a solution could be reached this year and repeated his conviction that he would be the last UN special adviser, for good reasons.
“I think I’m the last special adviser, and I hope it’s for good reasons. I was not saying I can guarantee that we will succeed; it was more a statement to say that if it fails this time, I am not confident that there will be another special adviser, because there may not be another opportunity to solve this within the parameters of the talks as we see them,” Eide said. “I say that because if these two leaders – with the current climate, massive international support – cannot be able to find a solution, I cannot really see what, in five or ten years, will be better regardless of who is the special adviser at that time. So my statement is that I still think that I’m the last one, and I hope it is for good reasons.”
The UN official said the cost of a solution has not been estimated yet but experts from the EU, the IMF, and the World Bank were working on it.
“The economy of the united Cyprus will be much bigger than the economy of the two divided parts of Cyprus; the solution will pay for itself in the long run,” he said.
Eide said it would be possible to secure foreign help and private sector investment.
There is a lot of support for a solution from the international community “and to stress this opportunity I used the phrase the stars have aligned,” he said.
“This would not only benefit Cyprus but also the countries in the region. A solution in Cyprus would be an example for other problematic countries in the region.”