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UN’s Eide says Cyprus talks on a “cool off period”

There is a cool off period in the UN-brokered Cyprus talks aiming to reunite the divided island, UN envoy Espen Barth Eide said on Monday after talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

“I didn’t hear anything that indicates something will happen in the near future. There is a cool off period,” said the envoy who has come under strong criticism from the Greek Cypriot side.

“One of my remaining duties is to write a thorough and honest report,” he added.

Eide also told reporters in north Nicosia that the UN remains committed to supporting efforts to solve the protracted Cyprus problem.

“We will be there and be helpful. But there is no process if the sides don’t see that there is one,” he also said.

“My mission is to talk to the sides and report to (UN Secretary General) Antonio Guterres whether there are any steps to be taken by UN and if the sides are ready to take any,” he added.

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Akinci made no statements either before or after the Eide meeting – the first since the collapse of the talks in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, earlier this month.

On Monday morning, Eide held a long meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades whose spokesman afterwards said the minutes of Crans-Montana meetings may have to be made public unless Eide changes his tune on the collapse of the talks.

Eide had said that Turkey did not accept zero guarantees or troops but added: “We were working towards an outcome on security that – I mean the Secretary-General and myself – that we think could have worked at the end of the day as part of a final package that would then lead to the end of guarantees and intervention rights, but they would have kept some troops, at least for some time. Where we were not ready to agree is the issue of the longevity of the troops.”

He added that Turkey’s cooperation would have been part of a six-part package progress but Guterres had decided to end proceedings at that point.




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