UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide believes that the fact that both sides have embraced the importance of building a genuinely European solution was one of the very significant achievements in the current round of Cyprus talks.
Replying to questions after a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Eide said next week’s visit to Cyprus by European Parliament President Martin Schulz was a “very good sign” that EU institutions were showing significant interest and massive support to the negotiating process.
“The prospect of a possible settlement in Cyprus is very – very important to Brussels and to Europe,” he said. According to Eide he is constantly asked by his counterparts in Brussels “as to what they can do to help.”
“I think that one of the very significant achievements in this round of talks is that both sides have embraced and strongly underlined the importance of making this a genuinely European solution,” Eide said.
This, he added was good for both sides because there were many aspects to the European set of principles and values that protect the group which is not the majority.
Referring to Schulz`s visit, Eide said: “We will all meet with Schulz and make sure that he has a good picture of the real state of affairs and where we are in the talks, the progress made and also all the remaining issues.”
He described the European official as “a committed supporter to the Cyprus process” and expressed his conviction that while on the island Schulz would make sure he expressed in a practical, hands on way, the concrete support from Europe.
Eide said he meeting with Akinci and referred to the fact that the two leaders would be meeting on Monday morning.
“We are now in a very crucial phase where we are predominantly working on looking into some of the understandings that have evolved over these many months and trying to convert the understandings into clear language,” he said.
“There may be political agreement achieved between the leaders under which we don`t have all the details and sometimes, the crux lies in the details. So that is very much the work we are doing now.”
Asked about the upcoming parliamentary elections on the Greek Cypriot side, Eide said it was “not intervening in a negative sense.”
“I think many people have asked that question and my sense is that both leaders are committed to continuing to talk through and beyond that period and we have a long agenda of issues to discuss when we meet on Monday morning,” he added.
Akinci said that his meeting with Eide focused on energy matters, the Cyprus talks and how to move forward. (CNA)