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14:57, 21 July 2018 Saturday
13:59, 15 August 2017 Tuesday

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UN envoy on Cyprus quits to run in Norwegian elections
UN envoy on Cyprus quits to run in Norwegian elections

Espen Barth Eide had been in office for over 27 months to help broker solution to divided island  

World Bulletin / News Desk

Norwegian diplomat Espen Barth Eide has confirmed his resignation as the UN's special envoy on Cyprus.

He tweeted on Monday that his resignation was official. Eide will now run as a parliamentary candidate for Norway’s Labour Party in September’s general election.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement Eide had encouraged Cypriot leaders, "bringing them closer than ever before to their shared vision of a united Cyprus".

The envoy had served for the last 27 months "with steadfast dedication, commitment and creativity," Guterres said.

"Eide helped the two leaders make unprecedented progress towards reaching a viable and sustainable solution to the decades-old dispute," he added.

Eide, on Aug. 3, visited Greek-Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish-Cypriot president, Mustafa Akinci, before leaving the island.

He later tweeted about his “fond memories” of Cyprus and his hope to return one day “to a united island”.

The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 military coup was followed by Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power. 

There has been an on-and-off peace process over recent years, with the latest initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K., collapsing last month.

Turkey has blamed Greek Cypriot intransigence for the latest talks’ failure and also faulted the European Union for admitting Cyprus as a divided island into the union in 2004, after Greek Cyprus rejected a peace deal.

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