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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-12-20

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    UN Secretary Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer has expressed the view that the Cyprus problem can be solved in 2010, noting the importance of the intensified negotiations, which will begin in January.

    In statements at Larnaka airport before departing for Australia for Christmas holidays, Downer said that UNSG Ban Ki moon would like to come to Cyprus in the beginning of next year.

    Downer said that Ban is very keen to come to Cyprus, adding that he would very much like to come in the early part of next year.

    We are still working on the details of a date. He and I will continue to consult each other about the best time to come and obviously we`ll also be consulting the two leaders. We have had some preliminary discussions about this and we have some thoughts, but obviously a final decision will be made a little bit nearer the time, he added.

    Asked whether his arrival will depend on progress in January, he said what he will want to do when he comes to Cyprus is to make a substantial contribution to the process. So it has to be at a time when both he and I feel that he will be able to do more than I can do, as the Secretary-General of the United Nations and make himself a substantial contribution. So you have to take all of that into account.

    It`s been a long year and it`s been a tough year. But it is also true that the two leaders have shown throughout the year a very strong commitment to achieve a successful negotiation and they have made good progress through that time. From our perspective at the United Nations we`re pleased with the progress the leaders have made. Next year is going to be a pivotal point, he stressed.

    Referring to intensified talks, which will begin in January, he said that the two leaders have made a very strong commitment to intensive negotiations, adding that January is going to be a very important point in this whole negotiating process.

    Downer, who will be in Cyprus on the 4th of January for the leaders` meeting, expressed the view that these two leaders can reach an agreement. It is within their grasp.

    He noted that nobody has any illusions about how difficult the process is, saying that any agreement the leaders reach will have to be accepted by the people of Cyprus in two separate referendums.

    I`ve said all along I was cautiously optimistic about this process. We get to the end of the year and I think that my optimism is well founded. And I think the determination through January to make real progress in that month is there. And I think they can have a very successful January, he said.

    Downer expressed optimism that progress will be made in January, when intensified talks begin.

    I think there will be good progress in January. There really needs to be good progress in January, he said.

    Asked when he believes a solution can be reached, he said I certainly think it can be done during the course of the next year. We looked at 2010, all of us in the United Nations, as a year with a lot of challenges in a lot of parts of the world. But it`s our view that Cyprus is one of the problems that can be solved in 2010. 2010 has the potential to be a very exciting and a very good year for the people of Cyprus.

    January, he reiterated, is going to be a great opportunity for the Cyprus talks.

    Noting that the leaders have made very steady progress over the last 15 months, he said that in January there is a real opportunity to make very significant strides forward.

    The leaders next two meetings will take place Monday, 21 December and January 4th.

    Following that there will be, of course, the well-publicized intensive period of meetings, he said, adding that I know there`s been speculation about where that will be and whether they`ll be home visits and so on. We`ve had some discussion with the leaders and with their representatives during the course of this last week about this and our view is that it`s the substance of the negotiations that really matters.

    Downer added that the UN have offered to make available the residence of the Chief of Mission of UNIFYP and Special Representative of the UNSG in Cyprus, Taye-Brook Zerihoun.

    We have offered to make that house available and if the leaders feel comfortable with that and I suspect they will feel comfortable with that then that will be, in our view, a very good place for the meetings to be held. But they will make a final decision about that on Monday, he explained.

    Replying to questions, he said that during his last meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish official told him he supports a solution for Cyprus based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality and a single international personality, which is the basis of the negotiations.

    My impression is that all parties are keen to see a solution, to see these negotiations successful and they all recognize the obvious, which everyone has to recognize: that a solution can only come about through compromise. It can`t be done without compromise. Nobody can have everything they want. But it`s important to turn these negotiations into a win-win situation for both sides, he concluded.

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations since September 2008 with a view to solve the problem of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.


    The Cyprus Police has conducted an operation to deport 50 non-EU nationals living in Cyprus, who had been classed as illegal immigrants.

    The operation was implemented under the auspices of FRONTEX, the EU agency charged with border security and was funded by means of the solidarity Fund of the European Commission as part of the budget Allocation of the Return Fund Programme for 2008. The operation Involved 115 members of the Cyprus police.

    Cyprus Police Spokesman Michalis Katsounotos told the press on Saturday that the police, following an EU directive, proceeded on December 15 with the operation, during which 50 illegal immigrants were sent back to their home countries by means of a special flight from Larnaka International Airport.

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