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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-05-28

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met today in the framework of direct negotiations which began last September with a view to reach a solution in Cyprus and reunify the island.

    During todays meeting, which took place at the UN protected area of the old now defunct Nicosia airport, the leaders were expected to continue their discussion on economic matters.

    During their last meeting, on May 21th, held in the presence of Alexander Downer, UN Secretary Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus, the two leaders discussed the opening of a crossing point at Limnitis, on the north east, to facilitate movement to and from the islands northern Turkish occupied areas.

    In statements following the meeting, President Christofias had expressed disappointment regarding the stance of Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on the opening of a crossing point in Limnitis.

    The government of Cyprus has pledged it is ready to open the crossing point of Limnitis to facilitate free movement but the Turkish Cypriot side has asked for the supply of electricity in the area of Kokkina as well as fuel in order to give its consent to the opening of the crossing point.

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Cyprus Alexander Downer said on Thursday that the momentum in talks between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus for a settlement of the island`s political problem is not spectacular but is not worryingly slow, adding that if the momentum is maintained at a satisfactory rate, a comprehensive agreement can be reached.

    Regarding any changes in the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Downer said there was no proposal at this stage for the Security Council to change the mandate of UNFICYP, and that in the event of a comprehensive settlement, the Force`s role might go through some sort of change.

    Speaking after Thursday`s meeting between the leaders of the two communities, namely President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Downer said ``the two leaders met in a tete-a-tete session for about an hour and a half and had a very friendly discussion, they report,`` noting that ``of course, nobody else was there but they report it was a very friendly and relaxed discussion.``

    ``There was some further discussion on the economy, some work was done during the tete-a-tete meetings by the representatives and other officials on moving forward towards convergences on some aspects of the economy,`` he noted.

    He pointed out that ``the leaders thought it would be a good idea to focus on this again next week and next week`s meeting will be on Wednesday instead of Thursday, Wednesday at 10:00 am, and that will be the last meeting that will discuss the economy`` and that ``the leaders will then move on to another topic and we will explain what that topic will be next week but not this week.``

    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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