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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-12-02

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus will hold today their 11th meeting in the framework of the direct negotiations, which began early September, under UN auspices, with a view to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat are expected to continue their discussion on federal police issues. Other issues on the agenda are federal public service, public service commission and external affairs.

    Their previous meeting was held November 25th.

    UN Secretary Generals Special Representative in Cyprus Taye Brook Zerihoun had said that during the tenth meeting, the two leaders reached almost full convergence on the issue of federal offences and what consists a federal offence.

    On the federal police, they also achieved some convergence and they have other areas to discuss when they meet next, he added.

    The two leaders have been meeting since early September to find a mutually agreed solution that will reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.


    The direct negotiations, aimed at a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, are moving ahead well, with both parties presenting their respective positions and engaging with each other in a constructive and open manner, Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General noted in his report on the United Nations operation in Cyprus, that was released Monday.

    Ban pointed out that nonetheless the issues to be addressed are difficult and differences along the way will naturally appear. Many issues cut across each other and cannot be considered in isolation but rather as areas for potential compromise. The nature of the process therefore demands a diligent and patient approach. I am confident that both leaders will remain engaged through regular meetings and committed to see the process through, he added.

    The UN Secretary General noted that during the reporting period, the situation in the buffer zone remained calm and stable, and he commended both sides for deciding to cancel their main annual military exercises, in line with the improved political atmosphere on the island.

    The UNFICYP Force Commander will work with military commanders on both sides to extend this constructive approach to other military activities. In this context, I hope the Turkish Forces will lift their unwarranted restrictions on UNFICYPs movement, he stressed.

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