UNSG Special Envoy on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide has said that there is daily progress on a broad range of issues as regards the Cyprus peace talks and that he is getting more optimistic every day.
Eide was received Tuesday by Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos who hosted a luncheon for him and his associates.
Speaking to the press following the lunch, Eide said that he had the opportunity to brief the Archbishop on the Cyprus talks which are in a very intense and very constructive phase , to share thoughts with him and listen to his views, perspectives and input.
Eide said that everyone in Cyprus should be happy for having religious leaders on both sides who cooperate and have a good dialogue on the issues at hand.
“And I just wanted to share with you again that the support of the Archbishop for the work that your leaders are doing and we and I as the envoy of the SG is doing , is something that we very much appreciate and I am very happy to have this opportunity to exchange perspectives with his Beatitude”, he added.
Replying to a question about the work carried out by the negotiators of the two sides and him being present in these meetings, UNSG Special Envoy said that “we are in a very constructive and intense phase of negotiations and we have a daily progress on a broad range of issues”.
“And for that reason I have decided to be here much more and also to be present in the negotiators` meetings. Not only at the leaders` level because this is now in a very decisive phase of the history of the whole Cyprus issue. And I have been optimistic for quite a while as you know but I am getting more optimistic after each meeting including the one we had this morning”, Eide said.
Archbishop Chrysostomos said that they exchanged views on the Cyprus issue over lunch, adding that it seems that we are heading towards the right direction.
He added that the overall picture is very positive expressing his hope the talks to continue in this positive atmosphere for the benefit of the Cyprus people, the Mideast region and the world.
The Archbishop also pointed out that the church stands ready to contribute for a just and viable solution within the framework of the EU.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The leaders of the two communities, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since mid May with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY