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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-01-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias announced that he is going to visit Greece in the intervening week between the intensive talks that are planned for 11-13 January and for 25-27 January.

    As President Christofias said on Monday after his meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in the context of direct negotiations, he will visit Greece to talk with the Greek Government on the developments regarding Cyprus issue.

    The President pointed out that with todays decision to postpone the second week of the intensive talks one week later, there will be more time for the two leaders to consider their respective positions that will be tabled in the first three days. He added that this would allow him to travel to Greece and talk with the Greek Government on the developments.

    Referring to today`s meeting, the President said that with Mehmet Ali Talat they discussed issues related to governance and the European Union.

    Our advisors will meet tomorrow to discuss EU matters and we will normally meet on Monday to begin intensive talks, he noted.

    Asked whether the intensive talks will be ended after the second week, the President said that it was not specified and that it will depend on the progress and results of the two weeks.

    President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunify the island.


    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat decided on Monday to change the dates of the forthcoming intensive talks to begin on January 11.

    Speaking after the meeting between the two leaders held Monday afternoon in the framework of direct negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem, the UN SG special envoy to Cyprus Alexander Downer said that the leaders decided to change the dates for the second week of the intensified talks.

    Therefore, the leaders will meet on the 11th, 12th and 13th of January, while the second week of the intensive talks will be put back by one week.

    Thus, Christofias and Talat will resume the intensive talks on the 25th, 26th and 27th of January instead of 18, 19 and 20 as initially was planned.

    Downer noted that the representatives of the two leaders, George Iacovou and Ozdil Nami will meet during the course of the intervening week.

    According to Downer, the leaders feel that it would be a good idea to allow a little bit more time to the representatives to discuss issues in the intervening week rather than to move too quickly from one week into the next of the intensive talks and think that for logistical reasons it would be better to do it that way.


    Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou, who is paying a two-day visit to Lebanon, was received on Monday by President of Lebanon Michel Suleiman.

    According to an official statement, Kyprianou had also meetings with Speaker of Parliament of Lebannon Nabih Berri and Foreign Minister Ali al-Shami.

    Speaking after the meeting with the Lebanese House Speaker, Kyprianou said that they review the excellent relations between the two countries and discussed ways to further strengthen them.

    He added that they also discussed regional issues, the peace process in the Middle East, the issue of Palestine and the ongoing process of talks aiming to resolve the Cyprus issue, particularly the new phase of intensive talks.

    Kyprianou also noted that Berri demonstrated interest in the talks and expressed his support in maintaining the unity of the island.


    The hard work for a Cyprus solution will be continue, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has stressed.

    Stephanou was invited to comment on Monday on the results of a poll conducted in the occupied areas of Cyprus among Turkish Cypriots regarding a solution to the Cyprus problem. According to the main findings of the research, Turkish Cypriots are pessimistic in relation to a Cyprus settlement.

    Public opinion reflects at a big extend the current situation, Stephanou said, adding that currently there are no evidence to create optimism that a solution of the Cyprus problem will be reached soon.

    Stephanou added that if there is progress in the negotiations in the future, things might change.

    We have before us a picture that we are all called on to change, he said, adding that we must continue the hard work to reach a mutually agreed proposal for a solution to the Cyprus problem, to be tabled before the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots who will accept or reject it.

    Stephanou pointed out the commitment of President Christofias to continue this hard effort, based on the principles for a Cyprus settlement and all the elements that will maximize the potential to reach a solution, is a fact. He added, however, that it should not be ignored that Turkey and not the Greek Cypriot side has the key of the solution.

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