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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-10-13

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has announced his decision to cancel Nikiforos, the National Guard annual military exercise.

    Speaking at the Presidential Palace, President Christofias said the Council of Ministers had decided some time ago to suggest to the UN Secretary General the postponement or cancellation of Nikiforos and to ask that the Turkish side follow suit and cancell its own military exercise Taurus.

    ``On the basis of this position, the President of the Republic has decided to cancel the military exercise Nikiforos,`` he said.

    Referring to Monday`s meeting with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat, President Christofias said discussions were good and continuing, noting that the aides of the leaders of the two communities will meet on Thursday, before the next meeting between President Christofias and Talat.

    Asked if he was satisfied with todays meeting, President Christofias said this was an ongoing process. ``We are engaged in discussions. These are negotiations on many serious issues and it will take time, so you cannot comment on a discussion each time it is held,`` he pointed out.

    Replying to other questions, President Christofias said the issue of the presidency and vice presidency is being discussed and that George Iacovou and Ozdil Nami, aides to the leaders, will be continuing discussions before referring the issue to the leaders.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Christofias and Talat began talks in early September to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country.


    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat continued here on Monday their discussions on the powers of the executive, in the framework of direct negotiations aiming to solve the Cyprus question.

    In statements after their meeting, which lasted about three hours, UN Secretary General Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer said representatives and experts will meet on Thursday under UN auspices to continue the discussion at that level and the two leaders will meet again on Wednesday October 22 to carry the discussion forward.

    Downer also said that the leaders began their meeting today with a private discussion that lasted about a quarter of an hour and that after the private discussion, the negotiations resumed on the issue of the executive, the presidency and the vice-presidency.

    Invited to elaborate on a statement he made on Friday that progress has been noted, Downer said the two leaders ``are continuing clearly to discuss the approaches that they have to the executive, that is the presidency and the vice presidency and how that would work and obviously they come from this with different perspectives.``

    Downer added that ``there is a process that is inevitable in all negotiations, a process that must take place to work through the differences and that is why the representatives and the experts are meeting during the week to help take that forward.`` ``But first and foremost,`` he said, ``the leaders need to understand each others positions, to understand them very clear, they need to understand why they hold those positions and so naturally there is an articulation of all that has to take place.``

    ``Thats the necessary and usual part of the process of negotiations. So here we go to the representatives and the experts meeting during the week, under the auspices of the UN. I think that will be a useful way forward and then next Wednesday the leaders themselves will meet again,`` the Australian diplomat added.

    Asked if the two leaders submitted any new proposals since their last meeting, Downer said ``they have been talking about the proposals that they submitted.`` Replying to other questions, he said that ``inevitably there is a growing understanding between the two sides and their positions and as time goes on of course the gaps are going to narrow.``

    The two leaders, he noted, have some common positions and they have of course been negotiated over the past few weeks and there is much that still needs to be negotiated.`` ``This is an enormous issue, hasnt been resolved for a very long time and as I said on Friday it is important to give the leaders space here. You cant expect them suddenly to agree on everything on day 1 and the whole matter to be resolved after all these years. Its going to take a lot of time and its going to be a difficult negotiation. There is no question of that. But what you have here is the political will and the political will is very good,`` Downer added.

    On the UN role in the talks, he said the UN will do anything it can to be helpful. We are doing all we can to be helpful and I hope we are being helpful,`` Downer concluded. Christofias and Talat began talks in September this year, with a view to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite Cyprus, which has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.


    The Turkish Cypriot side sets counter-productive positions at the negotiations table of the direct talks between the leader of the two communities in Cyprus, Marios Garoyian, House President has said. Speaking here on Monday at a meeting with foreigners that participated to an anti-occupation rally organized by the refugees from the Turkish occupied town of Morphou, House President noted that the proposals of the Greek Cypriot side on the negotiations, create the opportunities the bi-zonal bi-communal federation to have all the roles that are appropriate, in the framework of the European Union and internationally in the globally economy environment.

    House President also stressed that the Turkish Cypriot sides demands are contrary to the European Acquis, noting that the negotiations are still at the beginning. House President pointed out that the Turkey is the key holder for the solution of the Cyprus problem and stressed the need for the international community as well as the European Union to exert pressure on Turkey in order to abandon its expansive policy in Cyprus and to constructively work towards a viable solution.

    President Christofias and Talat began talks in early September with a view to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite Cyprus, which has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

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