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

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [03] OSCE SUMMIT - FM


    Alexander Downer, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Cyprus said he was satisfied with the strong support and positive response he had received from the UN Security Council.

    Downer was speaking after meeting the Security Council at the UN Headquarters on Tuesday on the Secretary Generals good offices mission and the latest developments on Cyprus issue.

    In his remarks, Downer expressed appreciation for the strong support for our efforts from the Security Council and the very positive response we have got from the Security Council for the work that we are doing.

    Noting it is good for the moral of the United Nations to be strongly supported by the Security Council, he said we are looking forward to the next few weeks. The representatives of the two leaders will be meeting both tomorrow Wednesday and on Thursday, and the two leaders of Cyprus will be meeting again on the 6th of December.

    Downer said he expected there would be other meetings before the end of the year, and then further meetings during the first month of next year. Around the 25th or the 26th of January, Downer said, the Secretary-General will be meeting again with the two leaders and will be interesting to hear from them, on the progress that they have made on the previous two months since he met them on the 18th of November.

    We hope that the leaders will be up to make successful progress, he added.

    Downer reminded that this ultimately is a Cypriot led, and a Cypriot owned process, and there is no point in imposing on Cypriots an agreement that they dont want, because this is an agreement that has to go to two simultaneous referendums adding it has to be endorsed by Cypriots no matter what. So imposing something on them, they dont want, is not a possibility.

    The UN diplomat said that although there are no strict timelines, the important thing is that the process maintains real momentum. He remarked that the momentum slowed down very much during last two or three months, but with the Secretary-Generals meeting on the 18th of November in New York, that momentum has picked up again and its up to the leaders of course to maintain that momentum in to the future.

    Replying to a question whether the process is falling apart, Downer said the process is certainly not falling apart. I think the process has a good structure to it. He admitted theres no doubt about that the negotiations on the very complex question of property had become bogged down would be the expression that we use to describe them, not technically speaking stalled but they would certainly becoming bogged down and it was important that the process be given some momentum out of that.

    Downer said that although there are no strict timelines for this process, the leaders did say that they hoped that they would be able to conclude an agreement by the end of this year.

    Well, that is going to be kind of difficult between now and the 31st of December, thats to be admitted. The Secretary-General is meeting with them again at the end of January presumably to congratulate them on their agreement, although it would be wonderful if that happens but I dont think thats very likely, he remarked.

    Nevertheless, Downer added, they need to maintain the momentum and the optimism of the public that an agreement can be reached. And thats the important thing not that they finish the negotiations by any particular day but there is momentum and we all know that they are getting closer and close together on the core issues. And all of that is doable and so we hope that they can do it.

    Downer was then invited to comment on a remark that in his good offices report the Secretary-General calls for the parties to have an agreement across the board on all chapters during the first three months of the year, warning of grave consequences if they dont do it in this spirit and whether this was raised in the Council. Downer said that the Secretary-General what quite rightly did with his report was to produce a pretty frank, a pretty blunt report which he always said he would do it and he talks in that report not about timelines, by the way, but about risks, and risks are not timelines.

    Downer said the Secretary General expresses what is a natural and understandable consent, you do need to keep the momentum of this process going. He said Ban Ki-moon does talk about the issue of risks, but in the end, this process may not be successful. And its important for the people to bear that in mind. All Cypriots who want to see a solution to the Cyprus problem they want the momentum to be maintained in these negotiations, they want Mr. Christofias and Mr. Eroglu to be making progress week by week in the talks that they have and thats what we got here towards.

    Asked if he had raised the issue with the leaders, Downer replied it is obvious, if the talks dont reach any agreement then that speaks for itself. What we want to avoid is that happening and that what the Secretary-Generals report is doing.

    Downer said Cypriots generally do want to see this problem solved, and I think is a little bit of a myth that one side or the other does not have an incentive to solve the problem. Most Cypriots regard the status quo as unsatisfactory and want to see a change and these issues resolvedBut it requires enormous political will and political courage to do it. If it was easy to solve it we would solve it long ago, he remarked.

    Downer also said that he believes the way the current process is working is probably the best modest modus operandi and he did not believe that making any fundamental changes at this stage to the way these negotiations are taking place is likely to work.

    Asked about the reference in the report of the Secretary-General that the public in Cyprus must be more informed about the negotiations, Downer said that the Secretary-General really feels that the more the leaders tend to talk positively about the process and about the negotiations and about each other, the better because it is important to build public confidence in the process and that is the point the Secretary-Generals making.

    About the leaked UN documents in Cyprus, Downer said he did not have anything to say about the particular issue describing the issue as theft of documents.

    On the WikiLeak documents that note that he appears frustrated, Downer also avoided making a remark, adding that here is not a point of being frustrated, the process is difficultAnd the important thing isnt to worry whether people are frustrated, or exasperated or pessimistic. The important thing is to get an outcome and this is taking a long.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, namely President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, are expected to continue their meetings on December 6, in the context of direct negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem.


    UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has recommended that the mandate of UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) be extended for six months, until 15 June 2011.

    In his report on the United Nations Operation in Cyprus that will be issued as a document of the UN Security Council, which covers developments from 21 May 2010 to 20 November 2010, Ban noted that during the reporting period, the situation in the buffer zone remained calm and relations between UNFICYP and the opposing forces remained good and cooperative.

    The overall number of violations has declined. Low-level exercises near the cease fire lines unnecessarily cause tensions and should be avoided, Ban said and expressed hope that discussions on military confidence-building measures initiated by UNFICYP will enjoy the support and cooperation of both opposing forces and produce tangible results.

    Such a development would provide the best possible backdrop to the on-going negotiations, he noted.

    [03] OSCE SUMMIT - FM

    Heads of state and government as well as Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 56 member states of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), participate in the OSCE Summit that takes place December 1-2, in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana.

    Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou representW President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias, is expected to address the Summit on Thursday.

    Among the leaders attending the Summit are President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish President Abdullah Gul, as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and President of the European Union Herman van Rompuy.

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