UN Eide to visit Cyprus after the vessels’ withdrawal
UN special adviser Espen Barth Eide is scheduled to arrive in Cyprus on April 6 after Turkish and Greek Cypriot decided to withdraw their vessels that has been searching for natural resources off Cyprus' coast.
Eide’s visit comes on the day Turkey’s second navigational telex (NAVETX) terminates, combined with the departure of the ENI-KOGAS drilling vessel from the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). On Monday, the Barbaros was due to leave Famagusta port, a day after the Sapiem left the island’s EEZ.
According to a UN statement, Eide's visit aimed "to follow up on the encouraging indications received during his last trip to the island regarding a possible resumption of the negotiations".
"The Special Adviser continues to be optimistic about the prospects for a return to structured, results-oriented negotiations, and looks forward to this visit as an important step towards renewing the momentum in the talks," the UN statement said.
Eide will meet separately with President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu to continue discussions on restarting the talks. He will also meet the chief negotiators for both sides “in support of their substantive preparations”.
“The Special Adviser continues to be optimistic about the prospects for a return to structured, results-oriented negotiations, and looks forward to this visit as an important step towards renewing the momentum in the talks,” the UN statement said.
No indication was given for when the talks might resume but Eide has previously said he hoped to announce a date either for the end of April or the beginning of May when conditions were optimal. Elections are being held in the north on April 19.
The Barbaros has been anchored off Famagusta since December 30 when the first navigational telex (NAVETX), issued in October, expired, and the vessel had carried out seismic explorations in the island’s exclusive economic zone during a two-month period. In response, the Greek Cypriot side withdrew from the talks.
A second NAVETX was issued from January 6 until April 6 but the Barbaros has not left Famagusta port during the past three months.
The expiry of the second NAVTEX, plus the fact that ENI-KOGAS has stopped drilling and sent the Sapiem to Italy for maintenance, which is expected to take four or five months, has opened a window of opportunity for the resumption of the stalled negotiations.
he Greek Cypriot side had said as long as any NAVTEX was in force, and as long as the Barbaros remained off Cyprus, there would be no talks.
Sources: Daily Sabah, Cyprus Mail