UN Special Envoy Espen Barth Eide met with President Mustafa Akıncı yesterday afternoon in a re-launch of shuttle diplomacy between the two Cypriot communities. The UN Envoy meet with Greek Cypriot leader on Friday morning.
Eide is trying to compile a common document which will give a suggested framework for the discussion on security and guarantees at the Cyprus Conference in Geneva. The document will be based on the results of meetings held at the conference in January this year, at Mont Pèlerin.
This was his first visit to the island since the leaders met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York on June 4. That meeting led to an agreement to revive the talks at a second conference in Geneva on June 28.
The UN Envoy said that since the leaders’ meeting in New York, he had been in constant contact with virtually all the participants in addition to the two sides, of course with Turkey, Greece, the United Kingdom and the European Union as an observer.
“There is a serious determination to make this as successful as possible; it’s 13 days to go… it will start on Wednesday the 28th of June; it will go on for the time it takes – we’re planning for a few weeks, but that of course depends on developments, and it has to be well prepared,” he said, noting that all issues will be on the table; all issues will be discussed interdependently in Geneva.
“But there is of course one chapter which requires particular emphasis now, simply because of the two reasons you all know: one is that it has been less discussed than the other chapters, and the other is because it pertains to all the participants, and that’s why we need to also come well-prepared there,” he said.
Eide also shed light on the ongoing work to draft a common guideline for the talks in Geneva.
“We are now well underway in [developing] a document, which has been discussed a lot in the media here, and I want to say a few words about that. This document will be based on the input that we already got in the last Mont Pèlerin meeting – from all sides – on security and guarantees, but it will also be based on the input we’re getting now, including right now, in this meeting, and tomorrow, with Mr. Anastasiades, and in the conversations I’ve been having with the guarantor countries and also with the EU,” he said.
The UN Special Advisor however pointed out that the document was only a guideline.
“It will be a compilation of positions that they have, ideas that they have, which we will try to structure and make into something that can be the basis for discussions, but it’s not proposing [a] UN proposal; you will not find the settlement to the Cyprus problem in that document, because we’re not going to do the negotiations before the negotiations start – that would be impossible, and both sides have been very clear in saying that they don’t want that. They want the negotiations to take part in, in Geneva, but in order not to go into an empty room and say ‘where should we start?’, we’re trying to help interacting with them to find out where we start and how we develop the argument,” he added.
Eide also warned that the talks in Geneva will not be easy and that their expectation from all sides concerned was for vision, determination, will and leadership.