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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-01-12

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has expressed hope that during the two rounds of negotiations this month for a solution of the Cyprus problem, the leaders of the two communities will be able to agree on longstanding issues.

    Replying to questions after the informal briefing of the UN General Assembly on the 2010 agenda, Ban Ki Moon said he was ``reasonably encouraged by the recent process of negotiations on Cyprus.``

    ``As you may know, recently I have spoken with the leaders of both communities of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot and I have spoken with leaders of other countries, including Turkey. I sincerely hope that they will make significant progress,`` he said, noting that the leaders have met 60 times with the help of his Special Advisor Alexander Downer.

    The UN chief said he has been ``urging both leaders that this is the time for them to make decisions on the basis of flexibility and compromise,`` adding that ``they have discussed all the remaining issues and now they are focusing their negotiations on critically important issues.``

    ``I sincerely hope that during the two rounds of negotiations this month they will be able to agree on these longstanding issues. As Secretary General, I have expressed my firm commitment and willingness and readiness to engage myself whenever the time is appropriate,`` he added.

    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.


    President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat continue on Tuesday the second meeting of the intensive round of talks, in the context of the ongoing UN-led negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The intensive round is being held at the official residence of UNFICYP Chief of Mission in the UN Protected Area in two phases. The first round of meetings began on Monday and will continue until Wednesday and the second on the 25th, 26th and 27th of January.

    Yesterdays meeting focused on governance. President Christofias told reporters on Monday that the two leaders exchanged views freely on the various aspects of governance, without any document as a basis.

    He also expressed hope that at the end of the day there would be more convergences between the positions of the two sides.

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