Contrary to what some people thought, there was no letup in the reunification process, UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide said on Thursday, rejecting suggestions that the talks had stalled.
Speaking after a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades, Eide sought to emphasise that claims the talks had stalled were untrue.
“And I very much would like to underline that contrary to what some people seem to have thought, there is no letup in the process, the political circumstance has not changed the determination of either leader and they are working hard to achieve more convergences, so that we prepare for a later phase where the final issues can be tackled.”
Eide said this was the sense he picked up in media commentaries over the past weeks.
The UN official said that despite wanting to say more about what has been achieved, it could not happen.
“First I have to refer to the leaders’ own choice which is that they will explain the whole package if and when it’s there,” he said. “My role is not to say more than the leaders want to say, but I also want to again underline that when things are inter-dependent it is difficult to take out one piece and explain it independently of the other issues.”
On the economic aspect of a potential solution, Eide strongly suggested to “start thinking about something else than the so-called cost of the settlement.”
“We are working constantly on this issue. But the main issue is to have solution that in itself is economically viable, that creates growth and wealth, and there is more money there than that one-off investment in making the solution happen,” he said.
Eide said when talking about the economic aspects of a settlement, the main issue was to have a credible, functional, federal state that could unlock Cyprus’ potential for more growth.
“And that’s what the World Bank and the IMF are principally doing,” he added. “And on top of that of course they are looking into issues of property settlement and so on, which will all know that it is a broader issue than just that. And on that front I think the potential is quite good.”