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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-01-08

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Turkish Cypriots must help find convergences
  • [02] UNSG sends letters to community leaders
  • [03] Government calls for unity

  • [01] Turkish Cypriots must help find convergences

    The government has called on the Turkish Cypriot side to help achieve new convergences in the ongoing Cyprus peace talks and contribute to progress towards a political settlement.

    If the aim of the UN-backed Cyprus talks is to achieve new convergences and progress, then the Turkish Cypriot side should move towards the right direction, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said.

    His comments come in response to statements by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that there is no deadline at this months meeting between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus at Greentree, New York. Ban noted however that the Cyprus talks cannot go on the way they do and the leaders will have to agree as much as possible during their next meeting in New York.

    Stephanou said there are certain points one could make regarding the remarks, the first that there are no deadlines as the SG has put it.

    Another point, he said, to make is Bans reference to a multilateral conference.

    The UNSGs position in recent remarks and the last resolution on the renewal of UNFICYPs mandate, the Spokesman pointed out, is that it was his expectation that all internal aspects of a Cyprus settlement will have been resolved before a multilateral conference takes place.

    This is something which reflects our position, and we have always said that the two sides must be within a range of agreement on the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem before the UN proceed to a multilateral conference, with the agreement of both sides, Stephanou added.

    He also said that everyone is concerned how, during the Cyprus presidency of the EU in the second half of 2012, negotiations can continue, adding however, this is something which we will examine at a later stage.

    The Cypriot Spokesman said that the second meeting at Greentree will take place later this month where the SG aims to achieve progress through new convergences.

    Unfortunately, he added, there have been no new convergences and we have clarified why. It is because the Turkish Cypriot side has not been consistent with the commitment undertaken by both sides that the talks will resume from the point that they were left when Mehmet Ali Talat was leader of the Turkish Cypriot community and Dervis Eroglu (who replaced Talat) has reneged from convergences achieved during that time.

    It is well known, the Spokesman said, that the Turkish Cypriot side tables positions which are far from the agreed basis of a solution which is a bizonal, bicommunal federation, which does not allow new convergences to be achieved.

    So if the aim is to achieve new convergences and to have progress, the Turkish Cypriot side should move in the right direction, something that it has not done so far, he concluded.

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

    Peace talks are currently underway to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country, under a federal roof.

    President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met on October 30-31, at Greentree, Long Island, with the Secretary-General. The UNSG said after the meeting that the leaders had assured him that they can finalize a deal, acknowledging that there is still work to be done. Their second meeting at Greentree is scheduled for 23-24 January.

    [02] UNSG sends letters to community leaders

    The government has confirmed reports that the UN Secretary General has sent letters to the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus. I can confirm that UNSG Ban Ki-moon has sent letters to President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said, replying to press questions.

    The letters were sent ahead of a meeting later this month with the two leaders in Greentree, New York, in an effort to make headway towards a negotiated settlement in Cyprus to reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. There is a letter from the SG. We have not received it yet but as soon as we do, I will comment on its contents and the President will reply accordingly to the SG, Stephanou said.

    Asked why the President had not received it by late Saturday, he said the UN had explained that there was a difference of a few hours in the delivery of the letters. What is important is that we shall receive the letter, he added.

    President Christofias and Eroglu are set to have talks with the SG on 23-24 January in New York. This will be their third meeting with Ban, who has warned that the Cyprus talks cannot go the way they are being conducted at present

    [03] Government calls for unity

    The government has called for unity on the home front, noting the various challenges the country will face in 2012 vis-a-vis developments in the Cyprus issue, the Presidency of the European Council and the economy. Addressing an event of the Union of Cyprus Journalists, in Nicosia, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said 2012 is expected to be a difficult year for Cyprus and the world, as was 2011, urging everybody to be ready to confront the challenges ahead.

    Unity among the political forces is undoubtedly the first such challenge, Stephanou pointed out, adding that differences among political parties will continue to exist. However, he said, diversity of opinion should lead to a joint effort to underpin the interests of the people and the country.

    Speaking on the outstanding challenges, Stephanou referred to the upcoming second meeting at Greentree, New York, between the UN Secretary-General, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    We are confronted with Turkeys negative stance and increased intransigence by the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Dervis Eroglu the Government Spokesman said, as he explained the reasons for the lack of a breakthrough in the Cyprus peace talks, aiming at a bizonal bicommunal federation. This lack of progress does not discourage President Christofias, who continues his effort to make headway towards a solution, he stressed.

    Stephanou went on by saying that later this year the country will assume the Presidency of the European Council, an effort for which Cyprus is preparing intensively. Success in this endeavor, he added, will be success for Cyprus and its people, while failure will be a failure for the country and for all of us.


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