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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-06-22

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer has pointed out the importance of keeping up the momentum in the process to solve the Cyprus problem, and noted that the United Nations believed the negotiations could work.

    Speaking after a meeting with President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias, Downer said they had ``a nice meeting`` and that he also met Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on Tuesday, adding that ``obviously we have the meeting tomorrow of the two leaders and so we just had a talk about that.``

    ``I was in Ankara yesterday and I met a lot of people there and in the evening had dinner with the Foreign Minister, Mr. Davutoglu, and obviously I emphasised to him that the UN wants to see real progress in these negotiations. I talked to him particularly about the property chapter and that this was what the leaders were now discussing,`` Downer said.

    He added that he believed ``the leaders were wise to be talking about this issue`` and pointed out that ``it is a very important issue and we wanted to see real progress and a real spirit of compromise in these negotiations over the property question.``

    ``It is a crucially important issue. So we had a good talk about that,`` the UN official said.

    Replying to questions, Downer said ``the important thing is to have momentum in the negotiations,`` adding that ``obviously momentum has slowed because there were elections in the north and there has been a change of the leadership of the Turkish Cypriots.``

    ``So, I am not saying this critically, that is just a natural state of affairs and that is what has happened. But we hope that momentum will really get back into these negotiations over the next few weeks as the leaders focus on the property question. That is the important thing,`` he added.

    Asked if the UN would reconsider the nature of their involvement in the talks if there was no settlement by the end of the year, Downer said ``we have said all along that we want to see momentum in the process,`` adding that ``the Secretary General is going to produce another report.``

    ``He has just produced a report on the good offices and he is going to produce another report in November and we hope that that will be a glittering report all around and there will be very positive things to say about the way the process is going. It is nowhere near. It is June and I don`t know what is going to be in the report in November. Nobody has even thought about it. It is a long way off. And let`s hope that the negotiations will have made real progress by then and there is every hope that they will. We have always said that this is a negotiation that can work. I wouldn`t be here if I didn`t think it could. We are hoping for the best,`` he added.

    To other questions, Downer said ``the UN has never laid down a deadline and we have said that we will produce another report in November and that report will be a factual report about what has happened in the negotiations as the previous reports have been.``

    Downer pointed out that ``these are questions that need to be put to the leaders more than the UN,`` adding that ``the important thing is that the leaders take carriage of the process.``

    ``The UN obviously helps and we host the process but it is important that the leaders take carriage of it and they have their own perspectives on those kinds of questions. We will leave it to them,`` he added.

    Replying to questions, Downer said ``Mr. Christofias does not want to be tied down to particular deadlines but I think what is helpful is for there to be momentum in the process.``

    ``We do not want there to be no meetings, or the whole process to stall or to get deadlocked, we want everybody to keep trying to find ways through difficult issues. If this was easy, as I have said many times before, it would have been solved a long time ago. These negotiations have been going on for decades. Not this particular round of negotiations, but negotiations on Cyprus have been going on for decades, so it is obviously not easy, otherwise they would have been successful,`` he said.

    He added that ``if they keep the momentum going, they can do very well in the negotiations.``

    ``I don`t think it befits anyone to think about doomsday scenarios the whole time. I think we want to avoid thinking about doomsday and thinking instead about success,`` Downer pointed out.

    Asked if the UN Secretary General intended to invite the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus to New York in September, Downer said he did not think there was ``any plan to do that at this stage.``

    ``As you know, though, Mr. Eroglu is going to New York to see the Secretary General. Obviously Mr. Christofias has met the Secretary General on many occasions and knows the Secretary General well, including having hosted his visit here. There has been no plan whatsoever for a joint meeting of Mr. Christofias and Mr. Eroglu, no plan at all,`` he added.

    Asked about remarks that he has been showing favouritism to the benefit of the Turkish Cypriot side, Downer said it was not appropriate for the UN to get involved in political debates.

    ``We really do not want to do that. I mean, I tend not follow too much what people say about me or the UN. We laboriously do our job. It is a difficult job. It is a difficult situation here,`` he added.

    Downer noted that ``on arbitration we have always explained that we were not in favour of arbitration.``

    ``I know some people say we are in favour of organising an international conference or something. I don`t know why they think that. We have not been promoting an international conference. Our view has always been steadfast. This process needs real momentum. There have been good results achieved in the governance and power sharing chapter, and particularly during the intensive phase of the negotiations earlier this year. What we really want to see is some progress now on the property question. That will require compromise on both sides,`` he said.

    He added that ``everybody told me before I came to Cyprus that there would be all sorts of politicking going on that I would have to deal with.``

    ``I have chosen not to deal with it. I just think it is best to let it go. I am not a politician in Cyprus and I don`t wish to engage in politics here,`` he said.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said on Tuesday that the Republic of Cyprus and President Demetris Christofias were acting preventatively to support the process of negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem, with an aim to achieve an agreed solution, based on the agreed on basis for a bizonal bicommunal federation.

    Speaking after a meeting between President Christofias and the UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer, Stephanou said that the government acts with aims and preventatively in the Cyprus problem.

    ``The President of the Republic had a meeting today with Mr. Downer in the context of meetings they hold and exchange of views regarding the course of negotiations in the Cyprus problem. As always, the President of the Republic, with much sincerity, submits the positions of the Greek Cypriot side clearly, both regarding the process followed and the aims we have for its solution, which are also clear,`` he said.

    Asked about efforts to exert pressure on the Greek Cypriot side and whether the latest remarks by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov were a shield for the Republic of Cyprus, Stephanou said that ``the positions of Mr. Lavrov and Russia were and are clear, both regarding the process of the Cyprus problem for an agreed solution to the Cyprus problem and the substance of the Cyprus problem.``


    A ship with the name Santiago remains anchored off the port of Limassol, while Cyprus Port and Marine Police, in cooperation with the Cyprus Ports Authority inspect its cargo in order to certify its legality, Police Spokesman Michalis Katsounotos has said.

    Speaking here Tuesday, Katsounotos said that the ships cargo contains equipment and that the final destination is Sudan and Singapore. He also said that what has been published by a Cypriot newspaper regarding information from the USA, are not true.

    Katsounotos said that the ship has been anchored off the port of Limassol since June 11, requesting refueling. From the inspection contacted by the Cyprus authorities in cooperation with the Port and Marine Police, it has been found that the ship conveys merchandise and equipment that its legality needs to be certified, he said and added that ``pending certification of the legality of the cargo, is prohibited from leaving.`` Police Spokesman said that from the beginning of the incident, Cyprus Ministry of Justice and Public Order as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been informed.


    The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has vindicated nine Greek Cypriots, who appealed to the Court in nine cases against Turkey. The Court ruled that Turkey, whose troops occupy part of Cyprus territory since 1974, has prohibited the access to the properties of the nine applicants, which are situated in the Turkish occupied areas.

    The ECHR condemned Turkey for violating the applicants` right to protect their properties as well as their right for respect of private and family life. The nine cases (Sophia Andreou v Turkey, Economou v Turkey, Gavriel v Turkey, Orphanides v Turkey, Evagorou Christou v Turkey, Ioannou v Turkey, Kyriakou v Turkey, Nicolaides v Turkey and Michael v Turkey) were examined in January 2009 by the Court as to whether the applicants had the right to access their properties in the occupied areas.

    The Court had then ruled that Turkey had violated in all nine cases Article 1 of the Protocol 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights regarding the protection of property, while in seven of those cases (excluding Economou v Turkey and Nicolaides v Turkey) the Court ruled that Turkey had violated Article 8 of the Convention regarding the respect of private and family life.

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