NICOSIA- Former Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide has been appointed the new United Nations Secretary General’s special adviser on Cyprus, replacing Alexander Downer.
It has also been reported that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was considering appointing a personal envoy to stimulate negotiations aimed at re-unifying Cyprus.
“Alexander Downer left his post to become Australia’s High Commissioner (Ambassador) to Britain in March, after he faced long criticism from Greek Cypriots for acting outside the scope of United Nations resolutions on Cyprus. Espen Barth Eide is a prominent figure in Norway’s Labor Party and served as the Defence Minister from November 2011 to September 2012 and then Foreign Minister until October last year…Apart from his government posts, Eide has pursued an academic career in political science. From 1993 to 2000 and from 2002 to 2005 he was a senior researcher and research director at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs,” according to the Shanghai Daily.
UN sources quoted by leading Cypriot “Phileleftheros” (“Liberal”) as saying they expected Eide to bring “a new momentum to the Cyprus issue”.