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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-10-09

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The three members of The Elders who are currently in Cyprus urged the leaders of the two communities to seize the opportunity that exists now for solving the Cyprus issue and to be ready to make concessions and compromises.

    Chairman of the Elders, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former US President Jimmy Carter and former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi, gave a press conference Thursday during which they said that the leaders of the two communities of Cyprus, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, now have their moment in history.

    They also expressed their support to the efforts of the two leaders in reunifying Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974, under a federative system.

    In his statements, Archbishop Tutu said that during their meetings with the two leaders, ``we told them that they can make history``.

    We said to these two splendid leaders that it is their moment in history. It is a moment that we hope they will seize, a moment that they will be ready to use and that history will judge them graciously.

    He added that during their meetings with the leaders we told them that success came, in situations like in South Africa, not because people took everything that they wanted, success came because the leaders were prepared to make concessions and compromises.

    The leaders understand that failure is not an option, the Archbishop said, adding that they are committed to put the process forward.

    There is this opportunity now, Cypriots, you could give the world something to smile about, something to celebrate. You have the capacity, he added.

    The Archbishop said that the Elders would like to come back to celebrate with all Cypriots when Cyprus is reunified.

    In his statements, Carter said that his main impression is that all they met on the island, the leaders, the diplomats, the people from the private sector, the students, the UN facilitators all want to see peace and harmony with one Cyprus with a federal system, with two communities respecting each other with human rights respected.

    He also noted that for the process to succeed, concessions and compromises are needed.

    Asked which could be the consequences in case of a failure, he expressed the view that the Cyprus talks will succeed because, as he said, the two leaders are determined.

    He also referred to the Annan plan, a UN-brokered plan for a solution of the Cyprus problem which was rejected in 2004 by the Greek Cypriot community.

    Carter noted that in the Annan plan there were some provisions, which were unacceptable to the Greek Cypriot side.

    Those provisions, he said, are well known so you have a basis to begin the discussions.

    So, I don`t think we will have a failure and I don`t believe that if we have a failure it will lead to much worse than just an extension of the status quo, he added.

    The Algerian Foreign Minister said that the impression they have is that the two leaders are determined to make the best of this opportunity, but noted that the leaders need the support of their communities, the Media and the rest of the world.

    The Elders we have the impression that there is as much good will for Cyprus in the world as there was for South Africa in 1992-1994, he said.

    He added that they leave the island more excited and encouraged by what we have heard and we hope to come back to celebrate in not to long time, when this process will have its fruitful and happy conclusion.

    Replying to questions, he did not rule out the possibility that they visit Athens, Ankara and London.


    The UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer said it is important for everybody in the negotiations for a Cyprus settlement to look to the future and to make the negotiations a success, noting however that this can be done but requires great acts of statesmanship.

    Speaking to the press after being received by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias following his meetings in New York, Washington and Brussels on the Cyprus question, Downer said he had a very good talk with the President and he was ``very much looking forward to the talks tomorrow morning`` between the two leaders as part of the ongoing direct talks.

    Asked if the UN will have a more active role, Downer noted ``I wouldn`t say that, I think the important thing for the UN is to be helpful and that I don`t think the UN can really offer to be more or less than that``.

    Downer said he hoped the UN ``are being helpful at this stage and we just continue to offer our help and the leaders have set their objectives``.


    Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak reiterated the longstanding positions of his country on the Cyprus problem, during a meeting in Cairo with Cypriot House of Representatives Marios Garoyian.

    Speaking after the meeting, Garoyian said Egypt`s positions and policies regarding the Cyprus problem are totally in line with international law, UN resolutions and the principles and values that should dictate the relationship between states, with respect towards the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The meeting focused on the Cyprus problem, the Middle East question and bilateral relations between Cyprus and Egypt.

    Garoyian said he briefed the Egyptian President on developments in the Cyprus problem, explained the Greek Cypriot positions and referred to the problems faced due to the Turkish stance.


    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus advises Cypriot citizens, who intend to visit Thailand, to be especially careful and avoid places of mass gatherings and demonstrations.

    In a follow up press release concerning the political situation in Thailand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on Cypriot citizens to obtain the latest information on the situation prior to visiting the country.

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