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Talks Cypriot owned, UN says, backs adviser

UN Special Adviser for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide

Τhe Cyprus peace talks are Cypriot-owned and leader-led, the UN said, facilitated by the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser, Espen Barth Eide.

The talks, which continue on May 2, will be held in the presence of Eide, UNFICYP Spokesperson Aleem Siddique said on Wednesday.

According to the Press and Information Office, during Tuesday’s briefing of foreign media representatives, the spokesperson of the UN Secretary General, Stéphane Dujarric, confirmed that the UNSG has received a letter from the Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Kotzias.

Kotzias had written a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to complain about Eide’s “conduct.”

The Greek diplomat accused Eide of promoting a Turkish request for the EU’s four freedoms to apply to Turkish citizens in the event of a settlement in Cyprus.

He reportedly accused Eide of lobbying for the Turkish side and instead of acting like a UN mediator, he was giving them legal guidance on how best to formulate their demands to the EU.

Kotzias explained to the UN chief that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side were posing obstacles ahead of discussions on key issues such as guarantees and the withdrawal of Turkish troops.

Despite this, the UN remained steadfast in their support for Eide.

“I would like to reiterate that the Cyprus peace talks are Cypriot-owned and leader-led, facilitated by the United Nations, through the Secretary General’s Special Adviser, Mr Espen Barth Eide,” Dujarric said.

He added that Eide “has the Secretary General’s full confidence in the exercise of his mandate at this critical time in the peace talks”.

The Secretary General and his Special Adviser have been in frequent contact with all relevant international actors, including the European Commission as a united Cyprus will be a full member of the European Union”, he said.

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