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Don’t let the latest set-back in talks escalate: Eide

8 October 2014

UN Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide has urged both side to not escalate the latest set-back to the Cyprus talks, when President Nicos Anastasiades pulled out of the negotiations, ‘Cyprus Mail’ reports.

“And I think it’s very important now that everybody acts responsibly and avoid further escalation and that we as soon as possible create an understanding that the oil and gas resources, as President (Nicos) Anastasiades has repeatedly stated, is for all Cypriots,” Eide told reporters after meeting Anastasiades on Wednesday morning.

“It’s a serious issue that we also see in all the parts of the world when you have maritime disputes, it illustrates one of the points that I have raised earlier in my presence here which is that oil and gas can be either a blessing or curse. If it is well managed it will be a source of wealth for all Cypriots, if it becomes a source of tension it will be a problem for everyone and then it will more of a curse than a solution.”

Anastasiades pulled out of talks with Turkish Cypriot President Dervis Eroglu on Tuesday citing Turkey’s announcement that it was reserving marine areas for seismic surveys south of the island and within Cyprus’ offshore blocks as provocation.

The Greek Cypriot President has asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to convince Turkey to stop violating Cyprus’ sovereignty, warning that such actions “would deal a heavy blow to the negotiations for the settlement of the Cyprus problem.”

“They have the potential to destroy the efforts of creating a good and positive environment and actually derail the whole negotiating process,” the president said in a letter to Ban.

Eide is scheduled to meet with Eroglu today.

“I continue to talk to both sides about how to develop the ideas for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem,” he said. “I recognise that this is a very tense moment because the situation has become more complex given the developments at sea. But I also underline what I told you and both sides when I was here first that there are strategic reasons why the status quo is utterly unacceptable,” Eide concluded.

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