UN Cyprus envoy Espen Barth Eide issued a statement shortly after he left the island on Wednesday after an interview he gave to the Cyprus News Agency prompted some strong reactions from the government and political parties.
The statement read as follows:
“The Special Adviser of the Secretary-General (SASG) was interviewed by Cyprus News Agency, related to the positive news that Cyprus talks can soon be restarted.
However, he feels that he has been misrepresented on two crucial points, and would like to clarify the following:
1. The SASG has never intended to make any kind of judgement about the competing narratives about the roots of the Cyprus problem. He was merely referring to the well-known fact that there is more than one perception about what the core of the issue is, and that while Cypriots may continue to disagree about the past, they should look ahead and aim at agreeing on the future.
2. The SASG has repeatedly underlined that the Republic of Cyprus has exactly the same right to declare an Exclusive Economic Zone as any other sovereign state, and that its rights in this regard should be fully respected by other states.
A passage in the interview could leave the impression that he relativizes this basic right, established in the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention, which is obviously not the case and which was never his intention.”