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It’s time to think outside the box on the security issue: Eide

10 December 2016

The UN anticipates that it will change its role as facilitator to broker, UN Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide has said.

In an interview with journalist Esra Aygin for Cyprus Weekly, he said that because other parties will participate in the conference on security and guarantees, the UN would need to adapt its role. This is in recognition of the fact that the other non-Cypriot participants will have their own agendas.

“In the five chapters, we are merely custodians and facilitators of a process that Cypriots solved. Here there is a bigger thing going on where, frankly, there is a need for an impartial player,” he said.

“We all have to understand that, for Anastasiades and Akinci and me, we want to focus on Cyprus and we want to do what’s best for the Cypriots. The other players hopefully have some concern for the Cypriots, but they are also thinking about their other interests,” Eide said.

The UN envoy said that he would like the leaders to discuss further the security issue. He also indicated that there could be new ways of looking at security.

“You can either look for a middle ground, but you can also think outside the box. … Let’s find something that nobody thought about yet,” he said.

“I have concrete ideas, but I am not going to tell them to you because they are very confidential and only shared with the players,” he added.

He also said that it would be useful if both sides were able to think as Cypriots, with the shared interest of being hostages to no one.

Finally, Eide said the World Bank now had the financial numbers on property compensation and will confirm them with the two sides before they are published.

He said that financing the solution is probably easier than people have been led to believe.

“What I can say is that they are significantly lower than a lot of the numbers that have been flying around …”.

Cyprus Weekly

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