UN Cyprus mediator to quit to pursue political career in Norway

NICOSIA, Aug 15 (APP/Xinhua): United Nations mediator on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide has requested the Secretary General to release him from his responsibilities in order to run in the upcoming legislative elections in his native country Norway on September 11, said a UN statement released in Nicosia Tuesday.
Eide was appointed as Secretary General’s special envoy on Cyprus 27
months ago to lead the negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus, which was partitioned when Turkey occupied its northern part in 1974.
Negotiations between Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish
Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci made unprecedented progress but failed to reach a final agreement.
“Over the last 27 months, with steadfast dedication, commitment and
creativity, Mr. Eide helped the two leaders make unprecedented progress towards reaching a viable and sustainable solution to the decades old dispute, bringing them closer than ever before to their shared vision of a united Cyprus”, the statement said.
However, the negotiations floundered during what was supposed to be a final conference on Cyprus in July.
Anastasiades, who is also the leader of the Greek Cypriot community has criticized Eide of presenting an inaccurate view of Turkey’s positions.
Eide had insisted that Turkey was ready to relinquish intervention
rights in Cyprus and negotiate the withdrawal of its troops, but the country’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara was not ready to do either of the two.
It is not yet clear whether UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will
appoint a new special envoy on Cyprus or to continue the Cyprus negotiations.
After announcing the failure of the conference at Crans-Montana in
Switzerland on July 7, Guterres sent the parties home to reflect for an
unspecified time.
Before quitting his post, Eide prepared a detailed report on what has been achieved in over two years of negotiations, which also contains an account of the final controversial stage of the negotiations.