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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-12-03

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is expected to sign his report on his good offices mission to Cyprus on Thursday.

    Diplomatic lobbying continued at UN headquarters and in Nicosia on Wednesday regarding the final text of the report, with Cypriot and Greek diplomats holding meetings with senior UN Secretariat officers, while the UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, went over some of the report`s points in Nicosia.

    The report, which will bear the number S 2009/610 and will be dated November 30, was given to the Security Council members on Monday. The official text is expected to circulate on Thursday or Friday, with certain amendments.

    According to a Security Council member, the five-page report covers developments in the Cyprus problem since May 10 and is separated into six chapters. The first two are the introduction and the background of the talks, the third deals with the good offices mission and refers to meetings held by Downer, the fourth reports progress in the talks for a settlement, the fifth mentions confidence building measures, and the sixth contains the Secretary General`s observations.

    On the whole, the report is said to be optimistic, and contains several recommendations by the Secretary General to the leaders of the two communities.

    The overall assessment of the UN chief is that the two sides are making steady progress in their negotiations, which makes him reservedly optimistic that a solution can be found, and he believes the international community expects the talks to continue to make progress.

    The Secretary General also calls for the momentum to be maintained and the talks to be intensified, noting that the following months are decisive and provide a unique opportunity for the two sides, which he urges to meet the expectations of the Cypriot people for a comprehensive and viable solution of the Cyprus problem within a reasonable timeframe.

    However, he points out that the talks are Cypriot-owned and that he stands ready to contribute personally, should he be asked to do so.

    On Monday, the Security Council will have a closed-door session with the countries participating in the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

    On Wednesday, Downer will brief the Security Council members on developments in the talks. The UN Secretary General`s Special Representative in Cyprus Tayie Brook Zerihoun is also in New York.

    According to the schedule, the resolution covering the reports on UNFICYP and the good offices mission will be adopted on December 14. Turkey has already informed several Security Council members that it will vote against the resolution.

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

    The leaders of the two communities have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunify the island.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will continue Thursday discussion on the chapter of citizenship, aliens, immigration and asylum, in the framework of direct negotiations, aimed to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    In statements after their previous meeting Tuesday, UN Secretary General`s Special Advisor for Cyprus Alexander Downer, said that the leaders discussed at some length the question of citizenship, aliens, immigration and asylum.


    Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary General Marie Okabe has said that the UN Secretary General notes in his latest report on the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) that ``although considerable progress has been achieved in the Cyprus talks, the two sides have not yet considered in depth the role which the UN will be expected to play in support of a settlement.``

    ``He said the planning by UNFICYP in that regard will continue to proceed in a flexible manner and be guided by the evolution of the talks and the views of the parties,`` Okabe noted.

    She added that ``the Secretary General recommends that the Security Council extends the mandate of the force for six months, until the 15th of June 2010.``

    Okabe also said the report on the good offices of the Secretary General on Cyprus ``will be out shortly.``


    The establishment of a new European System of Financial Supervision, which will enhance the Unions supervisory framework in order to prevent future crisis, was the main issue discussed at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in Brussels.

    Cyprus was represented at the Council by Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis.

    Among the issues EU Finance Ministers discussed are better financial market supervision to prevent future crises, good tax governance and member states with excessive deficits under the Stability and Growth Pact.

    The Cypriot Minister also participated in the Meeting of Eurozone Finance Ministers, EUROGROUP, which took place Tuesday.

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