The ‘resurrection’ of the Cyprus peace process will not happen from the United Nations but by the divided island’s two sides, UN Cyprus envoy Espen Barth Eide said on Thursday.
“The United Nations never believed peace is impossible,” Eide told journalists in Nicosia after a farewell meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades who has publicly slammed him, calling him a liar.
“I’m not saying that the process that led to Crans-Montana (Switzerland) and the Conference on Cyprus will be resurrected by the UN, the resurrection has to happen from here, from the two sides, and in harmony,” he added.
Eide, who then crossed to the breakaway north to have a farewell meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, also said that the UN will always be there to facilitate a new initiative.
“We have always said, the UN Secretary General has always said that he remains available if the two sides wanted. We are not going to initiate anything, we did all we could to facilitate this process,” Eide also said.
“But if there is assurance by the two sides and the guarantors the UN of course will be there to help.
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“But the decision will come from the two sides, and frankly speaking the international community needs to be convinced that there is real intent to try again,” he added.
This is the last time the Norwegian diplomat is in Nicosia in his capacity as Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on divided Cyprus.
On Thursday evening, a farewell reception for him will take place at Ledra Palace on the divided capital’s buffer zone and both leaders will be attending. Even though it took days for Anastasiades to accept the invitation.
Eide leaves his post as Special Adviser to run at the parliamentary elections in his country set for September 11.
Nonetheless, he is drafting a detailed report on the failed UN-brokered Cyprus talks in Crans-Montana, in July 6-7, as the UNSG`s Special Adviser. A copy of the report will be made public.
— Espen Barth Eide (@EspenBarthEide) August 3, 2017