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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-12-02

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] PRESIDENT - DOWNER MEETING
  • [02] LEADERS MEETING
  • [03] MINISTER ECOFIN
  • [04] CYPRUS ECTAA

  • [01] PRESIDENT - DOWNER MEETING

    The UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, said on Wednesday that there were areas of convergence and still some areas of divergence in talks to solve the Cyprus problem, noting that it was important to maintain the momentum.

    Speaking after a meeting with President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias, Downer said the Cyprus problem was not easy to solve but he believed the leaders of the two communities had made progress.

    Downer said Wednesday`s meeting was ``an opportunity for us to spend a bit of time together reviewing the progress in the talks,`` and referred to meetings held between the leaders and their aides, as well as those scheduled for the next few days.

    ``The important thing is that the process maintains its momentum and this series of meetings, I think, is very constructive,`` he added.

    Replying to questions, Downer said ``the details of the negotiations are naturally enough behind closed doors and I think that is appropriate,`` adding that ``there are areas of agreement, of convergence, and there are still some areas of divergence.``

    ``I think they have made progress. That is not to say that the problem of Cyprus is solved. There are still difficult challenges ahead. In the UN we want to encourage the leaders to continue with the negotiations, and to continue the negotiations in the constructive way that the talks are being held, whilst never wishing to detract from the enormous difficulties that are involved,`` he added.

    Downer pointed out that ``if the Cyprus problem was so easy to solve, it would have been solved a long time ago, so people here should not have any illusions about this being an easy problem to solve.``

    ``You have got two leaders here who want to see a solution to the Cyprus problem. You have got a lot of support from the international community for a solution to the Cyprus problem, and we want to continue through the UN to provide that support as best we possibly can so that the leaders ultimately can agree to a solution,`` he added.

    To other questions, Downer said that in the talks ``we are going through the second reading now,`` adding that ``we went through the first reading and concluded that a few months ago.``

    ``They are making steady progress but all problems are not solved, obviously. So, there is still a way to go. And it is difficult, of course it is difficult. It is difficult for obvious reasons. There is a lot of history here. There is a lot of politics here. All of these things have to be addressed,`` he added.

    Asked about an intensification of the talks, Downer said ``the leaders are meeting twice this week`` and pointed out that ``it is only so often they can meet, there have to be preparations between the meetings, there has to be consultation between meetings, they have to think about different positions between meetings.``

    Downer said it was ``not realistic`` to expect the leaders to meet every day of the week, and pointed out that ``the important thing is that we keep up the momentum of the process and obviously there have been discussions about how that the programme will unfold in the months ahead.``

    Asked if a Camp David type scenario was feasible, Downer said he did not think ``foreign policy by analogy`` was a good idea because ``every case is different,`` adding that ``there is a bit of an inclination to keep the process here in Cyprus.``

    To questions regarding the venue of the talks, Downer said ``where we are having the talks is a very nice place to have them,`` adding that ``there is no plan to have talks outside of Cyprus.``

    Asked about UNFICYP`s mandate, Downer said that ``while these negotiations are going on, nothing is going to change,`` noting that ``what we need is stability during this period of the talks and it depends what the leaders want to do once the talks are concluded, assuming that they are successful.``

    Regarding the views of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on the talks, Downer said ``he is a very wise man and we can always count on his descriptions as being wise.``

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

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

    [02] LEADERS MEETING

    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will continue Thursday discussion on the chapter of citizenship, aliens, immigration and asylum, in the framework of direct negotiations, aimed to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    In statements after their previous meeting Tuesday, UN Secretary General`s Special Advisor for Cyprus Alexander Downer, said that the leaders discussed at some length the question of citizenship, aliens, immigration and asylum.

    In addition, Downer said that the leaders discussed and decided the dates for their next meetings, 3, 9, 14 and 21 December. Downer also said that Christofias and Talat during their next meeting on Thursday, will continue their discussion on citizenship issues.

    [03] MINISTER ECOFIN

    The establishment of a new European System of Financial Supervision, which will enhance the Unions supervisory framework in order to prevent future crisis, was the main issue discussed at Wednesdays Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in Brussels.

    Cyprus was represented at the Council by Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis.

    Among the issues EU Finance Ministers discussed are better financial market supervision to prevent future crises, good tax governance and member states with excessive deficits under the Stability and Growth Pact.

    The Cypriot Minister also participated in the Meeting of Eurozone Finance Ministers, EUROGROUP, which took place Tuesday.

    [04] CYPRUS ECTAA

    Cyprus will host the 100th European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Association (ECTAA) Meeting between 2 4 December.

    President of ECTAA Akis Kelepeshis described the organisation of the 100th Meeting in Cyprus as symbolic and historic, while President of the Association of Cypriot Travel Agents (ACTA) Victor Mantovanis said it constitutes a great honor for Cyprus.

    Referring to tourism, Mantovanis expressed the view that tourist arrivals to Cyprus in 2010 will show a slight increase as regards arrivals from countries apart from the UK.

    ``2010 will be a very difficult year, he said, adding that in comparison to other Mediterranean countries, Cyprus records for 2010 the highest decrease of tourist arrivals from the UK, reaching 25%, while Greece records a decrease by 14% and Spain by 16%. Turkey, on the other hand, shows an increase of tourist arrivals from the UK by 30%, he continued.


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