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UN denies it wants to abolish Republic of Cyprus (updated)

UN Special Adviser for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide

The United Nations on Tuesday dismissed as groundless a media report claiming it is proposing a new treaty of establishment that would abolish the Republic of Cyprus.

Citing unnamed sources, Phileleftheros said the common document on security and guarantees being drafted by UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide is based on the concept of abolishing the Republic of Cyprus through a new treaty.

Speaking to reporters in Athens on Tuesday after meeting Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Eide said the report was “completely inaccurate”, “wrong” and based on suppositions.

“I can tell you this because we do not make proposals,” he said. “We put in order the ideas we receive.”
Eide said the upcoming conference on Cyprus in Geneva will be successful if all parties involved reach a strategic agreement on the basic issues of security, guarantees, territory, property, and governance.

He said a strategic agreement between the sides was “possible” and noted that there are “elements that could lead to this agreement happening if there is willingness, creativity, determination and dedication.”

He also said, however, that this would not be easy and would require “in-depth work” as well as the need to talk and hear the views of all sides involved.

But even if such an agreement were reached, he warned, a lot of work would still need to be done at a lower level, and several financial and legal issues would need to be resolved.

Eide described his meeting with Kotzias as “constructive and useful”.

The Greek foreign minister made no comments after the two-hour meeting, Eide’s final one ahead of the second political-level conference on the Cyprus problem in Switzerland.

The Norwegian diplomat said that the key to a successful outcome at Crans-Montana was the chapter on security and guarantees.

It was very positive, he added, that all the sides involved had told him they were coming to the talks with the ambition and the willingness to find a solution.

The newspaper report also claimed that Eide’s proposal calls for a return to the current status quo in case of a breakdown in implementation of a solution, with Greek Cypriots in control of the Republic of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots in control of the unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which would, in such a case, be internationally recognised.

UN spokesman Aleem Siddique, told the Cyprus News Agency the report was “groundless and fundamentally wrong”.

“The document is based on inputs from all participants and is solely aimed at guiding the discussion on security and guarantees in Crans-Montana (Geneva)” where a Conference on Cyprus will reconvene on June 28, Siddique said.

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides also rubbished the report, saying there was no question of abolishing the republic, and that the political settlement being pursued since 1977 provided for the evolution of the internal structure of the republic from a unified to a federal state.

Eide said a common desire for a solution had been expressed in talks between the Turkish and Greek prime ministers on Monday.

“I am not guaranteeing there will be a result – it will take time and hard work and we are facilitating this in such a way so that the talks can last for weeks,” he said.

What was needed, he added, was a constructive and creative approach so that the security of one community was not secured at the expense of the other.

Eide said a common document that will form the basis for the talks in Geneva will be ready in the next few days, while noting that the two sides had differences “on two levels.”

Meanwhile, Eide will deliver the first draft of the common text to Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis on Wednesday morning, the Cyprus News Agency reported.

Citing unnamed sources, CNA said that, after receiving the draft, Mavroyiannis will kick off a round of meetings with party leaders, whom he will brief on the contents of the text.

President Nicos Anastasiades, who is scheduled to depart for Brussels early on Wednesday, will be briefed on the document by Christodoulides, who will join him in Brussels later on Wednesday.

The Geneva conference will include Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, as well as Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom as guarantor powers. The EU will participate as an observer.

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