The UN has made no decision regarding the appointment of a new UN secretary-general’s special adviser on Cyprus, it was reported on Thursday.
Deputy spokesman for the UN secretary-general, Farhan Haq, commenting on Wednesday on the likelihood of appointing a new special advisor to replace the previous incumbent, Espen Barth Eide, said no decision had been made.
Eide resigned his post last August to run in the legislative elections in his country, Norway.
He served as special advisor for 27 months, during which time he facilitated talks between the leaders of the island’s two communities.
Following the collapse of the peace talks at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana last July, however, Eide came under fire after expressing his opinion that the talks collapsed because of a “collective failure”. The Greek Cypriot side’s position was that the Turkish side was 100 per cent to blame for the collapse.
While on the island for his farewell meetings with the two leaders, Eide said that reviving the reunification procedure could only be done by the two sides, not by the United Nations. If the two sides agree to do revive the talks, Eide said, the UNSG was there for them.
Since Eide’s departure the settlement talks have remained at a standstill, although the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias maintains that Turkey agreed that it is necessary to hold talks between them before the next Conference on Cyprus is convened.
The Greek Cypriot side had put much hope on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit in Athens last month, but it didn’t exactly go as planned, as it turned into a blunt grudge-fest between the two Nato allies.
Following Erdogan’s visit, Nicosia and Athens announced that they were in full agreement that before any new conference on Cyprus there should be thorough preparation.
Erdogan, on the other hand, stated that as long as Greek Cypriots don’t consider Turkish Cypriots politically equals and not a minority, settlement negotiations were doomed.