UN Eide attempts to calm tensions between Anastasiades and Akinci

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UN Eide attempts to calm tensions between Anastasiades and AkinciThe climate between the two communities is not “ideal” currently, UN Secretary General Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide said

The climate between the two communities [Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots] is not “ideal” currently, UN Secretary General Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide said on Wednesday after meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades. 

He added that the latest developments have caused concern to all, despite the important progress made.  

Eide said that the two leaders need to have broad support from both communities “in order to travel the last mile of the process, which is the most difficult.”

The UN envoy noted that he is convinced “a settlement can be reached in this dispute [between the communities].  I am encouraged by my latest discussions in Greece and Turkey and with the other international players on the issue of security and guarantees.  We have not solved the issue – I want to be clear – but I believe that the solution is in the sphere of reality, if there is enough will and constructiveness to think outside the box and give new answers to all the questions.” 

He added that there cannot be a public climate, which is getting worse between the two communities.  

“It is important to overcome the difficulties in a result-oriented way. I discussed it here, and I will discuss it with Mr Akinci, and both leaders will discuss it tomorrow,” he said.

 “It is important to overcome the latest obstacles,” he said.  

Eide met with President Anastasiades at approximately 8:30am, and will be meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci later. 

A leaders’ meeting is scheduled for tomorrow.

INCREASED TENSIONS

Over the past few days, tensions have increased between Anastasiades and Akinci, after parliament passed an amendment to make official reference in schools to an unofficial ‘enosis referendum’ held in 1950. 

The referendum – which was held between January 15 and 20, 1950 – had called for union of the then colonial Cyprus with Greece. 

Following the vote in parliament on Friday – which passed the amendment – Akinci reacted harshly, calling for the UN Special Adviser to intervene in internal policies, and pressure Anastasiades to not sign the bill. 

The Turkish Cypriot side also requested from the UN to cancel a negotiators’ meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

Political parties in the occupied areas also launched criticism on the Greek Cypriot side, while at the same time criticism came from Turkey, which invaded Cyprus in two operations in 1974, once on July 20 and on August 14.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has called the equation of referencing the unofficial referendum with celebrations held in the occupied areas on the day of the first invasion and the day the so called ‘TRNC’ unilaterally declared independence (November 15) as “meaningless and unacceptable”.  

Cavusoglu noted: “The Cyprus Peace Operation [the invasion on July 20] aimed to put an end to the humanitarian tragedy caused by a mentality rooted in delusions of ‘enosis’.” 

The invasion left approximately 265,000 people – Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots – internally displaced from their homes, according to UNHCR figures, along with cultural destruction and many dead and missing persons, who are being found in various mass graves.

Read more here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

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