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‘This time it’s for real’

By Jean Christou

UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide appealed to Cypriots on Tuesday night to support the two leaders, saying people would be amazed at the things to come in the weeks and months ahead.

Speaking at an evening event at the Stelios Foundation, an organisation that gives out business grants to joint Greek and Turkish Cypriot ventures, Eide referred to the axiom ‘if something looks too good to be true it probably is’, but in this case, he said: “This time it’s actually for real.”

The leaders are due to meet on Wednesday but Eide said things were going so well that the next four meetings had already been scheduled.

“The leaders need support from the people in Cyprus. It’s highly important that people should be relating to the possibility of a political settlement,” said Eide. He said he was confident it would happen and that Cyprus would move from a stable non-solution to a future stable solution but there would be a complex transition stage, he said.

“These can be difficult. A solution must be practical, doable, understandable and acceptable. People will be affected in different ways. Some will be happy, some won’t,” he added. He urged Cypriots to “think about it now”. “Don’t leave it to the leaders only. The winds of change are blowing fast and are blowing in the right direction,” he said

“Where there is trust, will and leadership you will be amazed about what is to come in the coming weeks and months.”

Eide said there was a cost to some of these things but the benefit was higher than the cost. But he also said there was a cost to not solving the issue

“Either you reap the benefit or you lose it again,” he said.

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