UN envoy Espen Barth Eide is due in New York towards the end of the week to update Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Cyprus and to discuss the way forward, the latter’s spokesman Stephan Dujarric said.
He also referred to Tuesday`s meeting between two leaders of the two communities. “There was a good discussion between the sides on several outstanding issues, even if several differences remain,” the UN spokesman said.
He added that the leaders have scheduled two more meetings to be held in the next two weeks on May 11 and 17. “We hope that they will do their utmost to move the process forward decisively in the crucial weeks ahead,” Dujarric said.
Eide who met ruling Disy chief Averof Neophytou in Nicosia on Wednesday, tweeted afterwards: “rich conversation about the outstanding issues in #CyprusTalks and how to best use the momentum w/ @AverofCY.
Speaking after the meeting, Neophytou reiterated comments by President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday following his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, that a second Geneva conference could be achieved if there was enough progress.
The Cyprus issue was not a matter of time, but a matter of political will, he said. Akinci and Turkey want a new international conference by July when Cyprus is due to begin a new round of hydrocarbons drilling.
Anastasiades has said the drilling programme cannot be interrupted as there are commitments to multi-national energy giants.
Neophytou said based on the statements by the president on Tuesday, there had been some progress on some issues but several remained where political will was needed.
“The Cyprus problem has not remained unsolved until today because of deadlines but because there was no real political will on the part of Turkey for the necessary convergences,” he said.
“If Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side showed real political will, there could be progress in achieving convergences and agreements on important chapters and yes, this would open the way for a second conference on Cyprus to discuss security,” he added.
Touching on energy matters, he said despite Turkish threats in the past, Cyprus has managed to have three successful licensing rounds.
“The larger issue for Cyprus is our determination to advance the dialogue and if, God forbid, there is deadlock, the responsibility will rest solely on the other side,” Neophytou said.
He also responded to comments by Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos earlier on Wednesday that anyone who agrees with the rotating presidency and the remaining of Turkish settlers and troops already had their presidential candidate in Anastasiades.
He said he respected the election process and each party could believe what it wished but to all those saying ‘no’ for decades now, none had told the Cypriot people how they proposed “to get rid of the occupation army, regain our lands, how property will be restored and how the settlers will leave,” he said.