Row over UN special adviser on Cyprus

New tensions threaten to undo all the progress made since 2016 in the talks on the reunification of Cyprus. The row over the exploitation of fossil resources in the Mediterranean has intensified in recent weeks and now the Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and the Greek foreign minister have complained about UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide. What are the real causes behind the row?

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Phileleftheros (CY) /

Eide has lost his credibility

Espen Barth Eide has lost the trust of the Greek Cypriots and should therefore resign, Phileleftheros explains:

“He can no longer be the Special Advisor of the UN because he can no longer credibly claim to be objective. ... After the public statements made by President Anastasiades, and in view of Athens' long-standing [critical] stance vis-à-vis Eide we believe his mandate in Cyprus has come to an end. ... The Eide chapter is closed. We no longer trust him, and he is provoking lasting reactions on both sides and among the guarantor powers. Moreover it seems that he has other priorities that have nothing to do with the Cyprus conflict but rather with the domestic politics of his country. It has been announced that he plans to run as a candidate in Norway's parliamentary election this September.”

Havadis (CY) /

Greek side seeking confrontation

The row over UN Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide gives Havadis a sense of déjà-vu:

“Whenever the Greek islanders want to end the talks they start attacking the UN's special envoy. … Because if you manage to get rid of the UN representative there's no longer either a negotiating table or an issue to be negotiated! Instead of squabbling with the Turks and wasting time, the quickest approach is to start hitting out at Eide and paralyse the talks after giving everyone the impression that the UN is unable to fulfil its duties. … While the Turkish population faces embargoes, is isolated from the rest of the world and its right to exist depends on how much mercy the Greek Cypriots are willing to show, the Greek side is to be allowed to grow and develop freely and secure all the privileges! And as soon as Turkey intervenes the Greeks use the negotiations as a trump card and accuse the UN adviser of being biased! We've watched this film many times over!”