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Ban appoints new special representative to Cyprus

19 August 2014

A new special representative Cyprus has been appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Greek Cypriot daily ‘Phileftheros’ reports.

Former Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide (above) replaces Alexander Downer who left earlier this year to take up duties as Australian High Commissioner in London,

Espen Barth Eide, a prominent figure in his country’s Labour Party, served as Defence Minister from November 2011 to September 2012 and then Foreign Minister until October last year.

‘Phileleftheros’ said on Tuesday that both sides have agreed to the appointment which is expected to be announced in the next few days.

UN sources say that Eide, 50, who is the first European to take up this post since 1974 will bring “new momentum to the Cyprus issue”.

The same sources said that the secretary general’s efforts to appoint someone with in-depth knowledge of the Cyprus issue had failed.

It is understood that Ban is trying to find new ways to reinvigorate the UN sponsored peace talks to reunite Cyprus.

Presidents Anastasiades and Derviş Eroğlu are scheduled to meet again on 2nd September, while it is expected that a behind the scenes push for progress will be made on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly.

Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades will be attending the General Assembly in New York in mid-September.

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