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Can UNSG Special Adviser to Cyprus break the deadlock?

5 September 2014

The new UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide arrives in Cyprus today, ‘Cyprus Mail’ reports.

This afternoon he meets with President Nicos Anastasiades at the Presidential Palace, joined by deputy UN Special Adviser Lisa Buttenheim. Later in the evening, he will then cross the border to meet Turkish Cypriot President Dervis Eroglu.

The new special representative, who replaces Australian Alexander Downer, has his work cut out since the talks have effectively reached a stalemate. Meanwhile, Eide will also continue to hold down his post as managing director of the World Economic Forum in Geneva.

On Saturday, he will meet the two negotiators, Andreas Mavroyiannis and Kudret Ozersay, separately and again on Monday, accompanied by their negotiating teams.

Eide will be taken on a tour of the buffer zone on Sunday by a fellow Norwegian, the new UNFICYP Force Commander Major General Kristin Lund.

President Anastasiades will leave for New York on in two weeks’ time to attend the UN General Assembly, where he will hold a number of meetings with foreign dignitaries on the side-lines of the Assembly. President Eroglu will also be heading to New York. Both leaders plan to hold separate meetings with the UN chief during their stay.

Greek Cypriot daily ‘Politis’ reported yesterday that 16th September has been suggested as a potential date for the leaders’ first meeting since the summer break.

A source close to the negotiations told the ‘Cyprus Mail’ that the Turkish Cypriots want to hold a leaders’ meeting before both fly to New York to meet the UN Secretary-General, but that the Greek Cypriots have yet to confirm the date.

‘Cyprus Mail’ says that the Greek Cypriots are less than keen to hold that meeting and have yet to confirm a date. Sources say that they do not see any benefit as apparently there is no way forward to break the current deadlock at this time.

The Turkish Cypriots want to move on the ‘give and take’ stage of the negotiations, however President Anastasiades has suggested that both sides put on record where both sides agree, where they almost agree and where they completely disagree in order to clarify the situation.

Eroglu has been reluctant to do this, although, so far, there have been contradicting interpretations of the convergences and divergences on record. He wants to continue on to the next stage of negotiations with some hard bargaining followed by an international conference and dual referenda.

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