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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-05-21

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The UN thinks that Confidence Building Measures (CBM) is good and when not succeeding, it is always a disappointment, UN Secretary Generals Advisor for Cyprus, Alexander Downer has said, pointing out however that the main process is the negotiations.

    It is very important to keep the momentum going, whatever disappointments people may feel about progress in other areas of CBM, he said.

    Speaking after his more than an hour long meeting with President Demetris Christofias, which he described as constructive, Downer said that they discussed the Limnitis issue, which concerns the opening of a crossing point to and from the islands northern Turkish occupied areas to facilitate movement.

    Asked if he thinks there is a deadlock in this issue, Downer referred the press to the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities.

    It is not for me to be the judge, he said, adding that there is a series of CBM that have been put forward for some period of time and crossing points, including Limnitis, has been one of those. We would obviously like to see an agreement on these CBM and move forward, there is no doubt about that. So when there is not an agreement, that is disappointing, of course it is disappointing.

    At todays meeting, there was no agreement to open the Limnitis crossing point. President Demetris Christofias expressed disappointment, saying the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community had put forward unacceptable conditions before he agrees to open Limnitis.

    But, he stressed, this is not the only game in town. The main game is making sure that the negotiations on the future of Cyprus continue to maintain momentum. In periods like this, when people are disappointed about a setback in relation to one of the CBM, in one that a lot of people and Greek Cypriots feel strongly about, it is important to focus on that but also on the main negotiation, he added.

    Asked if he is optimistic that there is still hope for Limnitis crossing point to open, Downer said he is cautiously optimistic on that as he is cautiously optimistic on the talks overall. There are several CBMs, some have moved ahead quite well, some of them have not moved ahead quite so well, he said. So it is important to try these CBM to happen.

    Asked if he will discuss the issue of Limnitis crossing point with Dervis Eroglou in tomorrows meeting, he said that he has discussed this issue from time to time with both sides, President Christofias, Mehmet Ali Talat and their advisors George Iacovou and Ozdil Nami. He also discussed it in Turkey where he was earlier this week and in Athens. We expect both sides to put a main effort to make this negotiations succeed.

    Asked if todays developments will influence negatively the negotiations, Downer said that you always have days less good than others and it is not a surprise. It is like anything in politics, nothing is ever as bad as it seems and some times things are not always as good as they seem either, he added.

    As an old political saying says, nothing is ever as bad as it seems or as good as it seems. He said that this is a hot negotiation, these are difficult issues and you always have days that don`t go as well as other days, but people shouldn`t be despair about that, he stressed. They should maintain their strength and their conviction and determination to achieve a successful outcome and with all these they can do it.

    For the past 45 years, Greek Cypriot residents in the area of Limnitis, on the northwest, have to travel to Paphos, on the western coast, and Limassol, on the south, in order to reach the capital Nicosia. Opening a crossing point at Limnitis would make this journey far shorter. In the recent past, several crossing points to and from the islands northern Turkish occupied areas have opened to facilitate the movement of people.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The two community leaders have been engaged in talks since September last year, with a view to finding a negotiated settlement to reunite the island.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has expressed disappointment regarding the stance of Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on the opening of a crossing point in Limnitis, and referred to ``greed`` on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot side, which continues to submit new terms.

    Speaking on his return to the Presidential Palace after a meeting with Talat in the context of direct negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem, President Christofias said he was ``disappointed`` because ``every time he submits new terms, which of course cannot be accepted.``

    President Christofias did not want to elaborate on the new terms set by the Turkish Cypriot side, noting that ``they cannot be accepted and it appears that Talat is dynamiting the whole effort.``

    ``I think the Turkish army does not want to open Limnitis. This is my overall conclusion. I am saddened by this. I expected a different behaviour on behalf of Mr. Talat. However, it seems, despite the fact he does not acknowledge it, that many things may not depend on him,`` the President pointed out.


    Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou has said that the government will study the UN report on the renewal of the mandate of UNFICYP and send any comments on points of disagreement to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. In statements at Larnaca airport on his return from London, where he had contacts with his British counterpart David Miliband and Minister for Europe Caroline Flint on issues of European or regional interest, Kyprianou said ``the report, at a first glance, contains as usual positive and negative references, that is why I believe it is well-advised to study the report carefully before we make any assessment``.

    Ban`s report was circulated on Wednesday as an official UN document, in view of the deliberations at the Security Council on the renewal of the mandate of UNFICYP, established in 1964. Invited to comment on the deletion of an entire paragraph referring to a decision by the European Court of Justice on a property case, the Minister said ``what we should emphasize is that whether or not there is a reference to the Court decision in the report, the ruling is binding for all member states of the European Union and has legal validity``.

    The ECJs ruling of 28th of April 2009 paves the way for Cypriot displaced people to defend in an effective manner their property rights against the usurpers of their properties in Turkish occupied Cyprus, before Cypriot and other European courts. Referring to the contacts he had in London, Kyprianou said with Miliband and Flint he discussed the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown as well as ways of further cooperation between the two governments in the framework of the European Union.


    The House plenary condemned on Wednesday the Pontiac Greek genocide and observed a minutes silence to honor the memory of the victims.

    ``It is a commitment that binds all of us to struggle and not to allow again such crimes to take place, which tarnish humanity``, House President Marios Garoyian said in his address to the House.

    Garoyian said that May 19th has been declared since 1994 a date in memory of the Pontiac Greek genocide. During the genocide, between 1916 to 1923, more than 350.000 Pontiacs were killed by the Turks, according to official statistics.

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