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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-01-07

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    UN Secretary Generals Special Advisor for Cyprus Alexander Downer conveyed on Thursday to Cyprus President Demetris Christofias Turkish Cypriot proposals on governance and power sharing.

    In statements after a meeting with the President, Downer said that we are obviously very much focused on the intensive talks which are to begin on Monday and going on through the logistics on how those talks are going to work.

    He said that the proposals he conveyed to President Christofias are going to be part of the discussions next week. We talked about it in general as well as in some specific terms on how we expect the discussions to go next week but also in the week of the 24th when the second of the two intensive periods is going to take place, he added.

    Asked if the Turkish Cypriot proposals will bring the two sides closer to agreement, he said that the main thing is that the leaders have the opportunity to sit down and talk about these things at the beginning of next week and they can make up their own minds about that.

    Responding to another question, he said that intensive talks are important. I think this is going to be a very important component of the overall negotiating process, he added.

    He added that he would hope very much that the two leaders would be able to make very substantial progress.

    Obviously over the past 15 months there have been some convergences, there remain some divergences as everybody knows and I hope that this process will lead to an acceleration of convergences. Not everything is going to be concluded by the end of January of course but this is a very good opportunity to take the process forward, he added.

    He noted that the atmosphere is appropriate for an intensive phase as we move into a new year.

    As to the illegal elections in the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic in April, he said that the election is still a few months off, now it is a good opportunity to draw some of the threads together and see if we can make some big steps forward in the negotiations noting that inevitably the talks will have to wind down for the duration of the election.

    Asked if there will be a break in the negotiations, he said that no decision has been made on that.

    Responding to another question, Downer noted that if the whole progress arrives at any stage to a collapse that would speak for itself. But I dont think that that is going to happen, he said.

    Asked about the illegal elections in the Turkish occupied area, he said they are a matter for the north, they are not a matter for the Special Advisor of the Secretary General or a former FM of Australia.

    Asked if the UNSG will visit Cyprus, he expressed hope that he will come very soon.

    I said last week we are keeping in touch about when it would be a good time for him to come, he has got his own agenda, so to come to Cyprus he would have to squeeze in there. But he would like to come at the right time and for somebody like the SG the timing has to be right, he added.

    Asked if the visit will take place before April, he said well have to wait and see but there is a good chance that it will be.

    He said that intensive talks are likely to begin with the issue of governance and power sharing.

    Christofias and Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations since September 2008 with a view to solve the problem of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.


    Ambassador of Spain Juan Jose Urtasun, whose country will be the first to assume the EU rotating presidency in the trio with Belgium and Hungary, presented Spain`s priorities on Thursday, with special emphasis on tackling the financial crisis, managing the results of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, and implementing the Lisbon Treaty.

    Speaking at a press conference in Nicosia, Urtasun said the trio presidency would ensure continuity, which ``fits in very well with the spirit of the Lisbon Treaty,`` adding that ``this trio will be followed by another trio, in which Cyprus will be present, Poland and Denmark.``

    ``It would be wonderful if by that time and even earlier you manage to have success in your negotiations`` for a solution of the Cyprus problem, he said, and wished ``the best of luck`` and assured that ``we are ready to support you.``


    The Informal Party Leaders Council will meet on Sunday morning to exchange views on Turkish Cypriot proposals conveyed to President Demetris Christofias by the top UN envoy on Cyprus.

    An official press release said that the meeting was convened by President Christofias and will take place at the Presidential Palace.

    The proposals were conveyed today by the UN Secretary Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer and concern the chapter of governance and power sharing.


    Economic sentiment in Cyprus continues to improve, according to the Economic and Consumer Survey conducted by the European Commission for December 2009.

    The economic sentiment indicator (ESI) in Cyprus in December 2009 rose to 65.2 units from 63,6 in November, while in the EU27 ESI gained 4.1 points, reaching 92.0 and in the Euro area the December ESI reached 91.3

    With regard indicators per sector, Cypriot industrial confidence declined to -13 units in December from -12 the previous month, while retail trade indicator remained unchanged in -28 units. Confidence in the services sector was -14 in November and -10 in December 2009, whereas the construction confidence indicator recorded a sizeable improvement from -43 in November to - 36 in December. Consumer confidence slightly declined to -39 in December from -38 in November.

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