Eide returns to the divided island on Thursday for meetings with both leaders
UN Cyprus envoy’s hotline with Greece and Turkey
UN Cyprus envoy Espen Barth Eide is reportedly constantly on the phone with Athens and Ankara in his bid to draft a mandated common document on security and guarantees in a reunited federal Cyprus.
Eide, who is guiding the UN-brokered talks, is due back to the divided island on Thursday for meetings with both leaders as he prepares the document ahead of the new Geneva talks slated for June 28.
He is set to meet with both President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
“The document will help guide discussions on security and guarantees, that’s why the UN envoy is in constant communication with the foreign ministries of Greece and Turkey – the island’s guarantor powers along with Britain,” a UN source said on Tuesday.
At the same time, President Anastasiades who is on an official visit to Lebanon until Wednesday, has sent the message that through the Eide document the Greek Cypriot side expects that discussions on this chapter will be structured, focused and results-oriented.
Anastasiades also expressed hope that Turkey will finally engage constructively in the peace process and submit positions so that progress can be achieved.
Cyprus’ capacity as an EU member state provides the best guarantee, the President also said.
But Turkey, which still maintains troops in the breakaway north since a military invasion in 1974, insists on a right of intervention – something unacceptable for Greek Cypriots. Neither Greece nor Britain wish to maintain that anachronistic right.
The first conference on Cyprus in Geneva was held in January with no tangible results reached.
Reports have the Greek Cypriot side seeking the abolition of the Treaty of Guarantee and the adoption of a UN resolution that would act as a guarantee for the settlement.
It also proposed a trilateral friendship pact among Cyprus, Greece and Turkey providing protection to the island from external threats, as well as a transitional period during which a multinational police force would act as an internal security force.
Reportedly, Greece also wanted the abolition of the Treaty of Guarantee and the right of unilateral intervention.
And it backed the idea of a trilateral friendship pact, as well. In addition, it called for the withdrawal of all troops from Cyprus and their replacement by a multinational force that would guarantee security for a certain period.
The Turkish Cypriot side wanted Turkey to remain a guarantor only of the Turkish Cypriot constituent state and to have the right of intervention only in the case of very serious situations and after the invitation of that state’s parliament.
It also proposed a timeframe – which would be reviewed every few years – for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from the island but without a specific deadline.
The Eide-Akinci meeting in Nicosia is scheduled for Thursday afternoon, according to informed sources.