THE UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide arrived in Cyprus on Tuesday afternoon for separate meetings with the leaders of the two communities in an attempt to overcome the deadlock after Turkey extended its NAVTEX for seismic exploration in the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
According to the Cyprus News Agency, the purpose of Barth Eide’s visit is to ascertain directly from the leaders their views on the current impasse in the talks and prospects for its resolution, according to the UN.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu late on Tuesday Eide said that the deadlock has started damaging the talks process.
“I think it has started damaging the talks process and we might see some negative developments in the coming months,” he said. “So I think it is important to use this opportunity to call on the Security Council to work with all sides and try to ensure that we can return to the negotiating table.”
Government sources told CNA that Turkey’s decision to extend its NAVTEX complicated efforts to overcome the deadlock caused by its first NAVTEX late last year.
The same sources said that the Greek Cypriot side continued efforts to find a way to overcome the stalemate.
On Wednesday morning Eide is due to meet President Nicos Anastasiades.
The Special Adviser also plans to use the trip to prepare his briefing to the Security Council, scheduled for January 26, in view of the renewal of UNFICYP’s mandate, which expires on January 31.
The sources told CNA that the Greek Cypriot side would make clear to Barth Eide that the UN should give the true picture as to which side is responsible for the failure to resume talks.
Anastasaides withdrew from the talks last October after Turkey issued its first NAVTEX, which expired on December 30. It then issued a second one this month that is due to run until April.
Meanwhile Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu was due in the north last night to discuss the Cyprus issue with Eroglu.