UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide met with President Mustafa Akinci on Wednesday.
After the meeting, Eide told reporters that when looking at global developments, the whole world is going through a difficult period, however, for the Cyprus problem, there still remains a window of opportunity.
Referring to the Geneva summit scheduled to take place in January, Eide said that they are working towards the Cyprus summit and pointed out that Wednesday’s meeting with Akinci was a part of the preparatory work for the meeting between the leaders on Thursday.
Pointing out that there was not much time left before the Geneva meetings, Eide expressed his satisfaction over the intensified work of both sides.
“Both sides are working hard to overcome all their differences”, said Eide, adding that some of these differences will be overcome, while some others will remain for the last stage of the talks in Geneva.
Eide also described 2016 as a good year for the Cyprus negotiations, saying that apart from the period between the 2nd Mont Pèlerin summit and December 1st, “the negotiation process in general terms has proceeded well”.
He noted that there is clearly great support for the process from the international community.
Describing as very good the fact that the the last stage of the negotiations are being planned, Eide said that this would have a positive affect on the process.
Asked if 2017 will be the year of the solution, Eide said that their primary goal is for the leaders to meet and then an international conference to take place. He reiterated both sides’ were determined to achieve a solution. He also said that after reaching an agreement, the implementation of the solution will be planned and referenda will be held.
“A solution is possible to be reached within 2017”, Eide said, adding: “The final say will not be mine nor the leaders. The Cypriots will have the final say with the referenda”.
Replying to another question, Eide stated that the two leaders will have a meeting in January prior to the Geneva summit. He also said that the leaders will meet on January 4th, and if necessary, they will meet again. Eide also stated that he will have contacts with the guarantor countries next week.