The role of the UN is to be helpful, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide said on Wednesday while reiterating that the settlement process was leader-led and Cypriot-owned.
“I am doing my best to assist both leaders, but I am very loyal to this principle,” he said after a meeting with Citizens` Alliance leader Giorgos Lililikas. He also met later with Edek chief Marinos Sizopoulos, in the framework of his contacts with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political parties this week.
According to Eide, they discussed prospects for the future, both in the event the talks succeed or not. “I don`t know where this will lead” but we are going through some very interesting moments, both here in Cyprus and in the immediate neighbourhood, he added.
Speaking about his contacts with the political parties, Eide said he was “aware that if we succeed, we need to have solid political discussions about what to do when the referendum will come”. It is interesting to see the different views about what to do in case of failure, he went on.
“I am not able to say that I am convinced that it will work. But I do still think that it is possible and the coming weeks, months will be extremely decisive,” he noted.
Commenting on the resumption of talks, on Tuesday, after a two-month intermission, Eide said that the leaders have agreed on a number of dates for their next meetings while negotiators were meeting on Wednesday. The working groups are also working, “so technically-speaking, we are back to where we were in February” he added.
Eide noted however that “something was lost on the way” and pointed to the issue of trust between the leaders and between the communities. He expressed hope that the leaders were ready to fill this gap and take the necessary steps. “It all comes down to the issue of leadership” Eide said.