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Eide delivers much-hyped ‘common text’ to sides (Update 2)

UN Special Adviser for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide

UN special adviser Espen Barth Eide on Wednesday delivered a draft version of the common document he was mandated with producing to guide talks on security and guarantees at the international Conference on Cyprus next week to the lead negotiators of both communities.

He handed it first to Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, before crossing to the north and giving it to his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Ozdil Nami.

Following the briefing, Mavroyiannis held individual meetings with political party leaders to inform them of the contents of the document and ask for their comments on the document that will form the basis of discussions in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.

The negotiator had successive meetings with Disy leader Averof Neophytou, Akel’s Andros Kyprianou, Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos, and the Greens’ Yiorgos Perdikis.

Edek leader Marinos Sizopoulos will be briefed by Mavroyiannis on Thursday, and Solidarity’s Eleni Theocharous on Friday.

Following the meeting with Neophytou, Mavroyiannis declined comment other than confirming that the document was received.

In a statement, Disy said the document will “facilitate negotiation at Crans-Montana”.

“Through this document, the key issue of security and guarantees is placed front and centre,” the party said.

“This suggests how crucial the Switzerland summit is.”

President Nicos Anastasiades, who left for Brussels on Wednesday morning to attend the European Council summit, will be briefed on the document by government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides, who joined him on Wednesday afternoon.

The common text had become something of a hot-potato issue, as opposition parties charged Anastasiades that, in allowing Eide to draft it, he had effectively relinquished control over recording the Greek Cypriot positions.

Reports said the nine-page document is divided into four parts — constitutional security, external and internal security, and implementation of the deal.

It contains no bridging proposals.

After meeting with Mavroyiannis, Eide crossed over to the north and delivered the draft document to Nami.

In a statement, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci announced he will brief party leaders on Thursday.

Akinci later spoke on the phone with US Vice President Mike Pence who tweeted afterwards: “I underscored US support for UN-facilitated talks to reunify Cyprus.”

The Turkish Cypriot leader told the American VP that his side was determined to achieve a federal solution based on political equality. Akinci said the intensive efforts in the past two years have reached the final stage.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes flew to the Turkish-held north of Cyprus on Wednesday for meetings with Akinci and ‘prime minister’ Huseyin Ozgurgun.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in northern Nicosia on Wednesday

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