Espen Barth Eide: The 27th Special Adviser on the Cyprus issue departs with no solution

Espen Barth Eide: The 27th Special Adviser on the Cyprus issue departs with no solution

The 27th Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, is preparing his departure by preparing two reports on the three years of his involvement in the process trying to find a solution to the Cyprus issue.

The Norwegian politician will make his last appearance, next week in Cyprus, according to IBNA information. Following meetings he will have with the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, as well as with other participants in the talks, he will hold a farewell reception, in the “dead zone” at the “Ledra Palace” hotel.

Espen Barth Eide, as IBNA wrote in April, will be a candidate in the Norway autumn elections. In the past, he served as Minister of Defence and Foreign Minister to the current government’s of NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.

As an epilogue to his short-term mandate as UN Special Adviser on Cyprus, Eide, will submit two reports to the UN Secretariat. The first will relate to good services and will be made public. The second will be internal and will refer to the operation of the UN team on the Cyprus issue as well as to confidential information and data.

As stated by the Cypriot newspaper ”Phileleftheros”, in his briefing to foreign ambassadors in Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide will avoid the assigning of responsibility. “Keep that away from me,” he stated, the newspaper recalls.

The non-attribution of responsibility is a diplomatic move by the politcian, since this could affect his political career, if there is a reaction following  the publication of the report he is preparing.

what will be interesting is the legacy he will leave with his second report, which will be much more detailed and with unpublished facts relating to the proceedings in Geneva. This report may be the tool for managing future UN moves in the Cyprus talks.

Espen Barth Eide considers the Guterres framework, the written proposals submitted and the blocking of convergences reached in the discussions a positive contribution to the discussions on the Cyprus issue. But this is something that has been overthrown by both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot statements, that nothing has been agreed unless there is a final agreement.

Espen Barth Eide leaves at a period in time when both the Greek Cypriot and the Greek side have turned against him. This is not by chance, nor without reason.

Greek and Greek Cypriots consider the Norwegian politician responsible for the failure of the five-day sessions.

First of all, for the continuous sessions, without the proper preparation that would help in the discussions.

Secondly, for hiding the actual facts and for the misinformation that led to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that everything is going well without there being any real convergence between the two communities.

Thirdly, for his biased attitude. No one can blame the parties involved, the two communities and the guarantors, for the way they negotiate. Everyone, whether we like it or not, is trying to defend their interests. However, the mediator should keep equal distances from all sides, something that Espen Barth Eide and his team did not. Not only concerning the talks and the leaks on the Greek Cypriot side that were later made known, but also because of the way that we, the Greek and Cypriot journalists were treated during the coverage of the talks.

If the behaviour of Eide and his team towards the professional Greek and Cypriot journalists during the talks, compared to  their Turkish and Turkish Cypriot colleagues, was just half of that which went on behind closed doors, one can clearly understand the role he played in the talks.

Nevertheless Espen Barth Eide is not the first to be targeted by the Greek Cypriot side. Similarly, his predecessors, such as Alexander Downer (Australia) 2008-2014, Michael Møller (Denmark) 2006-2008, Alvaro de Soto (Peru) 1999-2004, etc., Something that should cause concern about the role the UN can really play in resolving the Cyprus problem./ΙΒΝΑ