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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-09-26

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias hosted a luncheon on Thursday in New York for the Representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, whom he briefed on the direct negotiations underway for a Cyprus settlement and the positions of the Greek Cypriot side, followed by an exchange of views.

    Speaking after the meeting, President Christofias said ``we reached the common conclusion that the Security Council will continue to support the principles which it has set so far, on which the solution of the problem will be based.``

    He added that he had the opportunity to elaborate on the current situation, after the commencement of direct negotiations between himself and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, and said he was happy that the Ambassadors reaffirmed the fundamental principles including in Security Council resolutions on Cyprus.

    President Christofias said the Ambassadors asked many questions, especially concerning Cyprus` EU membership, security and the structure of the Cypriot state, noting that he had ``the opportunity to present our own positions, with which everyone left satisfied.``

    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou told reporters that the Ambassadors expressed satisfaction because they were able to be briefed first hand on developments and the positions of the President.

    ``Satisfaction was also expressed about the President`s statement at the General Assembly, which was a speech that clearly presented the longstanding positions of the Greek Cypriot side, the principles on which the Greek Cypriot side is pursuing a settlement,`` Stephanou added.

    Replying to questions, Stephanou said that, ``having in mind that the ownership of the process is in the hands of the Cypriots, the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, and as provided for in the mandate and the good offices mission of the Secretary General, the role of the UN is to assist and not mediate.``

    Stephanou pointed out that the settlement has specific principles included in a plethora of UN resolutions, and thus the Security Council has the basis on which it must and can move.

    He noted that President Christofias reaffirmed his commitment to work with determination and flexibility, adding that this did not mean dismissing the principles of a solution.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    Three members of The Elders group, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Lakhdar Brahimi, will visit Cyprus next month to lend their support to the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities for their efforts to reunify the island, the UN announced on Friday.

    Elders Chairman Archbishop Tutu, former U.S. President Carter and former Algerian Foreign Minister Brahimi will travel together to Nicosia on 8-9 October for meetings with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders.

    The three will urge greater international recognition of recent progress towards a lasting settlement and will commend President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat for their efforts to reunify the island.

    They will also call on the international community to embrace the fact that a lasting settlement is within reach, and to actively support the leaders and the peace process.


    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who met with her Cypriot counterpart Marcos Kyprianou on Thursday in New York, referred to a new opportunity to solve the Cyprus problem and the new spirit developing for some time.

    During the meeting, Rice and Kyprianou discussed the Cyprus problem and the US official reiterated intentions to support the process for a settlement.

    Rice said ``we were looking forward to this conversation because we obviously like to be supportive as the process trying to resolve the Cyprus dispute moves forward.``

    ``I think there is a good chance again. I think there is a new spirit developing for some time and I look forward to your thoughts how we may push forward,`` she added.

    Kyprianou said he elaborated on the Greek Cypriot side`s positions regarding the process for a settlement and the role of the international community.

    He furthermore called on the US to exert influence on Turkey. ``Turkey is holding the key to the solution and there are indeed sectors that are directly linked to Turkey and of course it stands to reason that the US are in the best possible position to encourage, exert pressure on Turkey so that it is positive, not only in the process, but in the result, and the result must guarantee unity, reunification, the future of Cyprus.``

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