With his meeting with Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Kotzias, the UN Special Envoy for the Cyprus isssue, Espen Barth Eide, completed his round of talks for a briefing and preparation of the Conference on Cyprus 2017 in Crans-Montana on June 28.
The meeting, which took place at the Greek Foreign Ministry on Tuesday evening lasted more than two hours and was constructive and useful to the Norwegian politician.
According to credible sources who spoke to IBNA, during the talks which took place in a positive environment, the two parties discussed the procedural and organizational issues of the conference and the level of participation. It was revealed that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will attend the conference on June 30 along with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for the portfolio of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, Rule of Law and Charter of Fundamental Rights on behalf of the EU.
The talks will begin directly, without an opening ceremony, on the issues of guarantees and security among all parties involved, while there will be intercommunal talks elsewhere under Elizabeth Spehar, Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).
Following the meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Espen Barth Eide described the issue of security and guarantees as the key to the success of the Crans-Montana Conference and stressed that it is very positive that all the parties involved, as they have personally said, are coming to Switzerland willingly and aiming to find a credible solution, while noting yesterday’s talks between the Greek and Turkish prime ministers in which the common will for a solution was expressed.
The statement, however, that “the Crans-Montana Conference will be a success if the parties involved reach a strategic agreement on the key issues – security, guarantees, territorial issues, property and governance” if nothing else shows that the Conference on Cyprus is not expected to result in a final solution, which is the goal. As diplomatic sources told IBNA, there will obviously be another conference for the Cyprus issue at a later date.
According to reliable IBNA sources, the first two days, as well as the press conference that Espen Barth Eide will give on June 27 for the Cyprus issue, will determine the rest of the Conference, as in the following few days both the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias will leave the talks as the former is host to the Black Sea summit in Istanbul on 29 June while the latter will travel to Dubrovnik on June 30, accompanying Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on a two-day visit, thus disrupting the proceedings of the Conference.
“I cannot guarantee that there will be a result, it will take time and hard work, and we are technically prepared to keep the talks going for weeks,” said the Norwegian politician, explaining that what is needed is a constructive and creative approach so that the security of a community does not come at the expense of the other.
According to IBNA, tomorrow, the parties involved will be handed the paper Espen Barth Eide has drafted for the Conference on Cyprus June 2017 to be held in Crans-Montana./ΙΒΝΑ