Cyprus dispute has best opportunity with Akıncı and Anastasiades: UN envoy
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
A handout picture released by the Cypriot government's Press and Information Office (PIO) shows Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades (R), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci (L) and United Nations Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide (C) walking at the old airport in the UN-controlled buffer zone in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, as they hold UN-brokered peace talks on June 17, 2015. AFP PhotoThe United Nations senior official on Cyprus has expressed he was more “optimistic and hopeful” for ongoing talks between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders compared to previous negotiations between the two parties.
The Cypriot people are aware of the opportunity and the cost of having no solution on the Island, and they know both sides’ economies will be better and invulnerable against geopolitical crises as a united country, U.N. Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said on Aug. 14, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
Eide said the circumstances surrounding Cyprus were very different. “There is the Syria security crisis in the neighborhood and there is also an economic crisis which affects Greece and also Cyprus,” he said, adding many Cypriots were tired of the crisis.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı and his Greek counterpart, Nicos Anastasiades, both came to power with strong support from their voters, he said.
They have negotiated in a positive and constructive way on basic issues such as property, political solutions, the economy and the role of the European Union.
The peace process has no official timetable, but the talks should end in months, not years, he added.
There was a deep disagreement on how to deal with the island’s natural resources at the present, but now there is already an agreement about how to deal with it in the future in case of a settlement, he stated.
On May 28, Akıncı and Anastasiades came together for a meeting hosted by Eide at the U.N.’s Good Office on the island. The Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders had agreed on a five-step plan to resolve the Cyprus issue.
The island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot government in the northern third and a Greek Cypriot administration in the southern two-thirds after a 1974 military coup by Greece was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor state in Cyprus.