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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-10-06

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer said on Tuesday that the UN and he personally were focusing on their effort to help reach a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking after a meeting with President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias, Downer said that ``we need to get back to the talks, which is going to happen tomorrow, and I met with Mr. Talat and Mr. Christofias today and they are preparing for the resumption of the talks.``

    ``They are going to be over two days and then there are two meetings the following week. So it is good to see the process getting some momentum back and we need to really concentrate on that because that is the main issue and if they can succeed in these talks it is going to be a great thing for Cyprus and so as usually we do what we can to help them,`` he said.

    Downer did not comment on allegations from documents that have leaked to the press. ``I have made it perfectly clear, and it is important to understand this, that the UN is not going to comment on allegations of leaked documents and so on. We are simply not going to get into that game and we are going to concentrate ourselves on continuing to make the contribution we make to trying to achieve a successful outcome to these negotiations,`` he said.

    Asked about reports around his name, Downer said that ``first of all naturally enough we would never comment on any alleged leaked documents or anything like that, we would not get into any discussion about that.``

    ``Secondly, this process is not about me. This process is about Cyprus and it is about the Cypriots and it is about the two leaders trying to negotiate a solution. And I think the piece of advice I would give to Cypriots is to concentrate 100% both sides in doing what they can to achieve a satisfactory outcome to these negotiations,`` he added.

    Downer noted that ``this is a very difficult negotiation`` and that he is ``cautiously optimistic about it but it is a difficult negotiation and it is a very important time this in the history of Cyprus.``

    Replying to questions, Downer said he was personally concentrating on the talks. ``I personally concentrate on the talks. I am personally not concentrating on other issues. I am concentrating on making sure that we do everything we can to try to help Cyprus achieve a satisfactory settlement to its problems. I do not have any other interests,`` he added.

    Asked about reports regarding the political parties and the Church, Downer said he would not comment ``on allegations of leaked documents and so on and getting into an endless discussion about that.``

    ``I doubt that such a discussion is beneficial to Cyprus, and the UN chooses not even to comment on those sorts of issues. The main issue here in Cyprus and the thing that people should concentrate on is ensuring that these negotiations are successful. These are very difficult negotiations. I have said before I am cautiously optimistic that these two leaders can reach an agreement but they, everybody, needs to concentrate on making sure that there is a good outcome in those negotiations,`` he added.

    To remarks that political party leaders have said that he has overstepped the boundaries with his mandate, Downer said ``it is not about me, this is about these negotiations.``

    Asked if there were any reports on the profiling of Turkish Cypriot parties, Downer said he would not get into ``any of this discussion because this is a discussion about an allegation of a leaked document.``

    Asked if he discussed this issue with President Christofias, Downer said ``we had a very good discussion about all issues.``

    To a question regarding remarks by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Davudoglu about two states in Cyprus, and asked how these statements help the efforts for a solution, Downer said that ``for the UN our guide is the Security Council and the Security Council resolutions and what the Security Council has said is that it wants to see a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, a single international personality, and that is basically where we stand.``

    ``I mean, our job is to operate within that framework. So that is the basis on which these negotiations are taking place and, if these are successful, then Cyprus will end up with a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality,`` he added.

    To a question regarding the hard positions in the negotiations about property and guarantees, and if Turkey was ready to stand back on these issues, Downer said ``you can only solve the Cyprus problem if there are compromises, and how these compromises will play out is a matter, really, for the leaders.``

    ``Of course, people have outlined positions and you know, this is no secret; positions are inconsistent so that means something has to be done to reconcile the positions so that there is agreement. Now, how that is done is really a matter for the leaders,`` he added.

    Asked if the UN was planning to get more involved during the second round of talks, Downer said that ``the UN is only here to help and we help to the extent that the leaders want us to help.``

    Invited to say if it was time for the EU to get involved in the negotiations, Downer said that ``obviously the EU has discussions with the leaders, in fact with both leaders and representatives and officials from time to time, and I think that is obviously helpful as well but in the end this is not going to be a negotiation that is decided by the EU or the UN, this is going to be decided by Cypriots.``

    Asked if there was anything new about a possible visit of the UN Secretary General to Cyprus, Downer said there was not. ``There has been no decision made about that. I can absolutely assure you there has been no decision about whether the Secretary General will visit or whether he will not,`` he said.

    To a question whether the negotiations will be intensified, Downer said ``they are being intensified because they are going to meet now twice this week and twice the next week and we will see beyond that whether they will continue to meet twice a week and we will have to wait,`` adding that this was ``a matter for the leaders.``

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

    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunite the island.


    Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou described as very important the second round of UN-led talks for a Cyprus settlement, which commenced early September. In statements after a meeting he held Tuesday with Vice President of the British Committee Friends of Cyprus, Labor MP Andrew Dismore, and invited to comment on the meeting Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will hold on Wednesday, Kyprianou underlined the importance of the second round of the direct negotiations.

    The leaders of the two communities will discuss all the difficult and pending issues of the first phase, he said and expressed the belief that during this phase the will of the Turkish Cypriot side for a solution, its commitment to a bizonal, bicommunal federation will be shown. It will show whether it really aims to a settlement and how constructive will be its proposals and its approach, Kyprianou added.

    He underlined that sufficient preparatory work has been carried out and now is the time for the T/c side to show the right political will, to reject all the public rhetorical statements made by Turkey regarding a confederation or a new partnership of two states and to concentrate in a practical way to fulfill the target of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.


    President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian has underlined the firm commitment of the Greek Cypriot side for the achievement of a solution based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as defined in the relevant UN resolutions.

    Garoyian, who received Tuesday Vice President of the British Committee Friends of Cyprus, Labor MP Andrew Dismore, informed the British official about the recent developments regarding the Cyprus issue and the ongoing direct talks, which began last September between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus with a view to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    According to an official press release, Garoyian said that the solution should safeguard human and political rights of all the people of Cyprus, should be based on the relevant UN resolutions, on the values and principles of the EU and the High Level Agreements of 1977 and 1979. He also noted that Ankara holds the key for the solution of the Cyprus problem, adding that Turkey fully controls and imposes its intransigent positions on the Turkish Cypriot leadership.


    The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Cyprus is expected to accept the first students in 2013, UCY Rector, professor Stavros Zenios has stated. Zenios and Antis Adam, President of the Advisory Committee for the establishment of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Cyprus, held here Tuesday a meeting with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.

    Speaking after the meeting, Zenios said that the governments decision to approve Universitys proposal for the establishment of a Faculty of Medicine at the University of Cyprus was very important, and noted that an international preparatory committee comprising academics, under the presidency of Adam, has already been established.

    Zenios said that during the meeting they briefed President Christofias on what has been done so far, adding that it is a feasible goal the Faculty of Medicine to accept its first students in the year 2013.

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