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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-03-16

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has said that he will discuss with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat the possibility of issuing a joint statement at their next meeting at the end of the month.

    The President also said that he would be ready to discuss any request for further meetings with Talat, in addition to the one on March 30, set to be the last one before the so-called elections in the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Speaking after a long tete-a-tete meeting with Talat, he explained that he had the tete-a-tete meeting with him, as usual, adding that they talked about various issues regarding the present and the future of the country, in relation to issues already discussed.

    Today, he noted, discussions focused on European concerns and other open issues on governance. There is nothing to announce today, he said.

    Responding to questions about new convergence between the two communities, President Christofias said that I believe we are achieving something, we do not waste our time. If and when it is possible to announce something, we shall announce it.

    Asked if a joint statement will be issued after the March 30 meeting, he said there was nothing to say on that score at this stage. We shall discuss and examine this matter at our next meeting, he explained.

    We are trying to accelerate the pace of the talks, but as you can understand we do not have many meetings left until the so-called elections in the occupied part of Cyprus and as such we expect to continue after these elections, the President added.

    Asked if the next scheduled meeting will be the last one, he said he could not say that with certainty.

    In our scheduled programme of meetings, this meeting on March 30 is the last one. However, if there is any request, I am ready to discuss it, he pointed out.

    Replying to questions, he said at todays meeting he discussed with Talat whether they would be able to continue discussions after the so-called elections on the agreed basis for a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality, a single state, single sovereignty, one citizenship and one international personality.

    Christofias and Talat have been engaged in direct talks, under UN auspices, since September 2008 with a view to finding a negotiated settlement to reunite the country.

    Talat is a candidate in the April presidential elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus.


    UN Secretary-General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer has said that the next meeting of the leaders of the two communities on 30th of March will be apparently the last before the so-called elections in the northern Turkish occupied areas. Downer was speaking after a meeting between the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, in the framework of the ongoing direct negotiations that began in September 2008.

    In statements to the media, Downer said that the two leaders discussed today European Union matters. ``They had a very good discussion about those issues, very technical issues the European Union issues``, he added. He said that the two leaders` representatives will be meeting again on Friday to do a bit more work on European Union issues. Asked if the two leaders have exchanged today any documents on the EU, Downer said they have documents that they are working on which both sides have. ``So they didnt actually exchange papers, but they are working on these documents``, he added.

    Asked if the two leaders will be revisiting the governance and power-sharing issue, Downer said ``well just see how the discussions at the representatives` level go this week, assuming that the representatives have some discussions during the course of next week, and some of the working groups may, of course -- some of the technical people, rather -- might get together, of course, during the course of the next week. Well see how that goes``. Downer clarified that the two leaders did not discussed the economy.


    The government intends to present to the European Union its stability pact in the coming days, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said.

    Responding to questions on the matter, he said we shall submit our strategic planning and an overall framework of targets in the coming days and as soon as we finish talking with the political parties, we shall present the details of measures incorporated in the pact.

    The Spokesman dismissed as completely unfounded press reports that the government is engaged in discussions to give its consent to the opening of the energy chapter in Turkeys accession negotiations in return for listing the buildings within the fenced off area of Famagusta, which has been under Turkish occupation since Turkish troops invaded in 1974.

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