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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-01-27

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have decided to extend the second round of the UN-led intensive talks by one day, as part of their effort to find a negotiated settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking after Wednesdays meeting, the UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer said the leaders have been focusing their discussions on governance and power-sharing. Given the way the discussions have evolved during the course of the day, the two leaders have decided that they will meet again on Friday for further discussions, he said, adding that the meeting will take place again at the Chief of Missions house.

    Asked if this is not the end of the second round of the intensive talks, Downer replied: Thats right. Whats going to happen is that the officials will have some discussions and then the leaders themselves will meet again on Friday. So that will be, of course, the culmination of this intensive period.

    Asked if there have been any convergences, during Wednesday`s meeting on the issue of governance and power sharing, Downer noted that he is not announcing anything because the leaders are meeting again on Friday after further discussions amongst the officials. Statements will be made at the end of the process, at an appropriate time, in an appropriate way, which will explain what is being happening, he pointed out.

    Asked about the progress made during the six days of intensive talks, he said: Well, the proof of that pudding will be, as they say, in the eating. By that I mean there will be statements made at the end of this process, which has been extended until Friday. There will be statements made at the end of this process at an appropriate time, in an appropriate way, which will explain what has been happening, he added.

    Replying to a question about a possible visit to Cyprus by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Downer said that such visits are announced by the Secretary General or his spokesman in the New York.

    The Secretary-General, I think youll find, is having a press conference, at about 2:45 today to talk about a number of things. This is an example of the Secretary-General announcing himself, or his Spokesman, announcing himself the plans of the Secretary-General. Any plans the Secretary-General may or may not have, wont be announced here in Nicosia. They are, as always, typically announced in New York. Well just have to wait and see, he said.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. President Christofias and Talat have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunify the island. A first round of three-day intensive negotiations was held in early January and the second three-day round began on Monday.

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