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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-10-13

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu continued discussions on the issue of property, during their meeting on Wednesday, in the framework of UN-led direct negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking after the meeting, the UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer said that the leaders of the two communities would be meeting again on October 18 and 22, adding that their aides would be meeting on October 15 to schedule meetings for the next two weeks.

    Asked if the leaders reviewed the work of their aides, Downer said that ``there was obviously some discussion about the work that the representatives have been doing over the previous few weeks at their meetings,`` adding that ``the leaders have not themselves met for quite some time`` due to the fact that they have been overseas.

    ``The representatives have been meeting and the representatives were able, in a more formal atmosphere, to report to the leaders what they have been doing. That did not take up the whole meeting. It was just a component of the meeting,`` he noted.

    Asked if the leaders have asked for more active UN involvement at this point, Downer said ``not more or less, no, and our involvement has been fairly consistent through this process,`` adding that ``they have not asked for more, well, not more than has been the pattern.``

    Invited to say what the pattern was, Downer said that ``obviously it depends on the day and circumstances.``

    ``Just so that people do not get carried away with conspiracy theories, the UN does not want to be involved in arbitration and mediation here. The UN wants to help with the process. So we spent a good deal of time at different levels, not just at my level, but at different levels talking to the two sides about the issues and exchanging views on the issues,`` he said.

    He added that ``we also have at the UN a number of specialists who we use to help, who are people who have great expertise in the different chapters that are discussed in the Cyprus talks.``

    ``Their job is not to write solutions for the two sides or anything like that but to be sounding boards for the two sides. People to talk to, people with knowledge, people with experience and we hope that that is helpful. I think actually, if I think back over the last two years, it has been very helpful for them on a number of occasions. But you know at the end of the day they have to work out these solutions amongst themselves, we cannot tell them what to think. They have to work it all out themselves and be comfortable with it, because, as I have explained, contrary to the conspiracy theories which suggest that the UN has a secret plan to impose a solution on Cyprus, this has to be approved by two referendums,`` he pointed out.

    Downer noted that ``you learn from history, and ultimately the leaders are going to have to put an agreement to the people in those two referendums as their agreement, not as someone elses agreement, and they are going to have to sell it as their agreement, and that of course will maximize the prospect of it being accepted by the public.``

    ``If it is a foreigners agreement, and I know this from my own country, it will be very hard to sell, I suspect,`` he concluded.

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