Progress reached in Cyprus peace talks, says UN’s special advisor
NICOSIA – Anadolu Agency
The special adviser of the U.N. Secretary-General (SASG) on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide (L) after a meeting with Turkish Cypriot Leader Mustafa Akıncı (R) on Nov. 18, 2015. AA PhotoThe special adviser of the U.N. Secretary-General (SASG) on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, said after a meeting with Turkish Cypriot Leader Mustafa Akıncı on Nov. 24 that progress has been reached on a number of issues in recent peace talks. Eide was speaking a day before the two leaders from both sides of divided Cyprus were scheduled to meet in Nicosia as part of talks on Nov. 25.
“Progress has been achieved on some topics during negotiations that intensified in November, and on other topics we have seen how we need to organize ourselves,” he said after a meeting with Akıncı that lasted around two hours.
The last round of a total of six talks in November between the two Cypriot leaders, Akıncı and Greek Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades, was scheduled to take place on Nov. 25.
The Turkish Cypriot negotiator in talks, Özdil Nami, Deputy SASG Lisa Buttenheim, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Erhan Erçin, and Turkish Cypriot Presidential Spokesman Barış Burcu also attend the meeting with Eide and Akıncı.
Financing of a possible solution
Commenting on the issue of financial support for a possible solution process on the island, Eide said firstly the areas that need to be prioritized should be defined. He particularly referred to the issue of the property on Cyprus that has yet to be solved.
Eide said there are countries that are willing to finance the process and private companies could also add to this list of helping parties.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit the island on Dec. 3 as part of a six-nation European tour next week, the State Department said on Nov. 24.
On Dec. 3 Kerry will travel to the capital Nicosia, where he will “meet with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders to encourage continued progress in the U.N.-facilitated settlement talks,” the statement issued by the U.S. State Department said.
The visit will come around two weeks after British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond held talks with both of the leaders in Nicosia and said the “stars are beginning to align” for a solution in Cyprus.
Hammond added on Nov. 19 that the foreign ministers of China, Russia and the United States would also visit the island for talks in an effort to boost momentum.
After a meeting with Eide and Buttenheim on Nov. 18, Anastasiades and Akıncı issued a joint statement in which they condemned “in the strongest terms” the attacks by Greek nationalists on Turkish Cypriots in Nicosia on Nov. 16.
“The leaders stand together against racism and hatred, whatever the source,” read a part of the statement. “They jointly affirm that such deplorable acts will be thoroughly investigated and will not go unpunished.”