The Cyprus problem is not insolvable provided the two sides compromise on core issues, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General in Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide said in an interview with UN television.
“It is actually reasonably easy of you accept that you have to make some compromises on the known issues, that is, the nature of the new state, how to deal with lost property, how to deal with citizenship issues and so on,” he said.
Eide said a lot of hard work still had to be done but things looked different this time round.
“I think the main difference is that the two leaders and the negotiating teams are basing their work on real trust and they’re showing real leadership,” he said.
The UN official said President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci were looking at the big picture and avoided getting bogged down by the minuscule details that traditionally made a settlement impossible.
“I want to be very honest and say it’s not a done deal; we’re still far away from a final solution,” he said, adding however that the way the process is going made him optimistic.
“I believe the two leaders actually want to solve it,” he said.
Eide said the two leaders were having an open, frank, and trustful dialogue and they showed respect for the opposite position.
“And respect does not mean you agree with it but you understand that it also comes out of an intelligent and well-intended reasoning,” he said.
On the general climate on the island, Eide said he saw a lot of enthusiasm but also fear, mainly fear of change, as people wondered what a solution would be like.
“But I also see hope and enthusiasm,” something that he was told did not exist in recent years.
On Thursday, Anastasiades and Akinci on held a three-hour meeting as part of an intensified round of talks throughout November.
They discussed open issues relating to all aspects except property.
Their next meetings will take place on November 18, 20, 23 and 25.