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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-05-25
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 UNSG UNFICYPUN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has stressed the importance at this juncture for the parties in Cyprus to resume contacts and to begin to think about how to re-engage in the search for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.
In his report to the Security Council for the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP), which he recommends, due to the absence of a comprehensive settlement, Annan notes that he will that he intends to dispatch the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari to Cyprus, Greece and Turkey in the near future to assess the political situation in and around Cyprus and the prospects for a full resumption of my good offices.
The report, which will circulate on Friday as an official Security Council document with the aim to adopt it by 5th June, Annan covers developments from 30 November 2005 to 17 May 2006 and notes that over the past six months, both the Greek Cypriot leader and the Turkish Cypriot leader renewed their calls for a resumption of my good offices mission. While there were signals of some willingness to begin to re-engage, there have been no tangible indicators of an evolution in the respective positions.
Referring to his meeting with Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos in Paris on 28 February, Annan said that he conveyed his assessment that the situation was not yet ripe for the resumption of full-fledged political talks and expressed my concern that the gap between words and deeds was still too wide.
I encouraged him to do what he could to narrow these gaps, Annan added.
He also said that in March, he conveyed to the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, his readiness to meet with him at a mutually convenient time following his full recovery from a recent medical intervention.
The report also mentions that his new Special Representative Michael Moller, took up his duties in early January and started to explore options for encouraging progress on the ground and possibilities for a resumption of contacts between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, which have been suspended for over two years.
Noting that in February, both sides agreed to a proposal to establish a mechanism for them to engage on issues of common concern through bi-communal discussions at the technical level, Annan stresses that his Special Representative has since been involved in efforts aimed at reaching an agreement on the modalities for these discussions.
In order to gauge the pulse of the communities, and build a broad base of support for progress toward the re-unification of Cyprus, my Special Representative has also been in contact with wide sectors of civil society and with the wider diplomatic community on the island.
Annan stressed that the bi-communal discussions at the technical level are not intended to be a substitute for the negotiating process toward a comprehensive settlement in the framework of my good offices mission, but a step aimed at building trust and understanding, paving the way for the resumption of full-scale negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement.
He also pointed out that for the time being, both leaders have agreed in principle to my proposal that they meet on the occasion of the installation of the new Third Member of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, anticipated for June 2006.
In his observations, Annan said he continues to believe that only the achievement of a comprehensive settlement will bring an end to the Cyprus problem. In the absence of such a comprehensive settlement, the presence of UNFICYP on the island continues to be necessary.
At this juncture, it is important for the parties to resume contacts and to begin to think about how to re-engage in the search for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. I continue to believe that there is a need to match words with action, Annan stressed.
To this end, my Special Representative has engaged in a process aimed at encouraging renewed contacts, said Annan, adding that he intends to dispatch the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari to Cyprus, Greece and Turkey in the near future to assess the political situation in and around Cyprus and the prospects for a full resumption of my good offices.
Annan pointed out however that his Special Representative will continue to function as the point of contact on the ground for the two sides at the highest level.
In his observations, Annan also noted that the increase in civilian construction in the buffer zone may be a consequence of greater confidence in the security situation. While this would constitute a positive development as an indicator of normalization of conditions, UNFICYP`s ability to ensure security will be steadily eroded by continued construction, without UNFICYP`s approval, of residential and commercial facilities outside designated civil use areas. At this point he hopes that both sides will extend their cooperation to UNFICYP in this matter.
Annan further said that it is clear that an early completion of the work of the Committee on Missing Persons and a solution to the issue of the missing persons would greatly contribute to reconciliation on the island. The appointment of the Third Member affords an opportunity to all concerned to redouble their efforts and put aside political considerations, in order to close this painful humanitarian chapter. I would urge the donor community to contribute to this effort, he added.
Furthermore, he noted with satisfaction the progress in demining efforts in the buffer zone and appealed to the international community to lend its full support to the successful completion of the demining efforts in the Nicosia area, in the whole of the buffer zone and ultimately the whole of the island.
 UÍ OFFICIAL - VISITUN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari said he would probably be visiting Cyprus soon.
Speaking at UN headquarters on his visit to Myanmar, and asked if he would be dealing with the question of Zimbabwe, Gambari said to the reporters, ``You have mentioned only Zimbabwe. You could have also added Cyprus, as you know I will probably be going there.``
He added that the UN always utilise an opportunity for dialogue, whenever such an opportunity arises.
 GREEK PREMIER - NEW EFFORTGreek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has said that the Cypriot government is prepared to help undertake a fresh effort to solve the Cyprus problem.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Paris and asked if he raised the Cyprus question during his meeting with French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, Karamanlis said ``there is an effort made by many sides - and of course the Greek government is participating - to prepare the ground for a new possible initiative to solve the Cyprus question.``
``I believe the Cypriot government is prepared to help undertake this initiative, the new effort. And I believe we must prepare this issue very carefully so there is no new failure, which no one needs or wishes,`` he added.
 31ST CIF - OPENINGThe 31st Cyprus International Fair opens today with the participation of over 350 exhibitors and the display of products and services by 1,500 companies from Cyprus and 25 other countries.
The official opening of the Fair, which will last until June 4, will be declared by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos on May 25, in the presence of ministers, members of the House of Representatives, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the production sectors and other guests.
At the Fair, the official national participations are Egypt, France, Greece, the USA, Italy Malaysia, South Africa, Poland, Romania and Syria, while the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, with the participation of 20 exhibitors, will be participating for the second consecutive year.
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