New United Nations Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide will be the latest envoy to take a shot at trying to get Cypriots and their Turkish counterparts to find a solution to unify the island.
Eide will hold a joint meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in Nicosia on September 17, hoping to find a way to convince them to make some headway in negotiations that have stalled since Turkey unlawfully invaded in 1974.
After holding separate talks with them, Eide revealed that the meeting would take place with the two of them at the same time. All previous UN emissaries have failed to make any progress in negotiations.
The Norwegian said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wants to see reunification talks progress although no one has been able to do so for decades.
The UN’s goal of helping Greek and Turkish Cypriots form a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation suffered a blow last week when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted that the only solution is for the island to be split into two states.
Only Turkey recognizes the unlawful Republic it created in the occupied northern third of the island although Ankara wants to join the European Union – of which Cyprus is a member.
Eide tried to remain upbeat by saying that the September 17 meeting would be a sign of progress and would signal that, “We have entered a new phase.” He didn’t explain what that meant.
He did not rule out the possibility that Ban might also hold a joint meeting with Anastasiades and Eroglu in New York in the near future.