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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-11-01

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 has said Tuesday that during the next meeting of the two leaders with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in January it will become evident if the talks for a Cyprus settlement are moving to the end game of the negotiations.

    In remarks following the statement of the Secretary General at end of the two-day talks at Greentree mansion in Long Island, President Christofias further said that no great progress was achieved during the meetings to allow for a turning point at the efforts for a Cyprus settlement.

    For this reason, he said, the UNSG suggested the two sides meet again with him in the middle of January, following another round of intensive negotiations.

    The aim, he added, is to bridge the gap which divides the two sides on fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem, something which is difficult bearing in mind the differences, but not impossible.

    He also said that as long as the talks for a Cyprus settlement continue, we will show good will, will be ready for a solution that will be based on principles and is functional, serving the interests of the people of Cyprus.

    Referring to the procedure that was followed during the talks in New York, President Christofias said that the National Council was fully informed on how the procedure was to take place, like the previous three meetings with the SG, but on arrival in New York, the President was informed that there was a change in the way the talks would be carried out. We made strong representations to the UN and asked for an active involvement of the SG in the talks in the framework of his good offices mission. Something that was accepted, he added.

    President Christofias said that separate meetings were held with UN officials and the leaders with their negotiating teams where the positions of the two sides were discussed but no mediation was held, or proposals to bridge the gaps were tabled.

    He said that the presence of Ban Ki-moon was long during the talks but added what is the issue? The issue is that during the meetings unfortunately it was not possible to make that great leap to allow for a turning point in the efforts to solve the Cyprus issue. And it is for this reason that the SG, evaluating the results of the meeting and the intensive phase of the negotiations, suggested we meet again in mid January.

    President Christofias said that the aim, by then, will be to bridge the gap that divides the two sides on various core issues, something that is hard, bearing in mind the differences. Difficult but not impossible, he remarked.

    President Christofias said that the solution would be one of a compromise, if we want to solve the Cyprus issue on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, which is the longstanding position of the Greek Cypriot side since 1977 and was repeatedly confirmed by the National Council.

    On this basis, he added, we are negotiating, and we are consistent in the principles for a solution and are exhibiting the necessary realism.

    As long as the negotiations are continuing, we will show good will and will be ready for a solution that is agreed, functional and is based on principles and serves the good interests of the entirety of the people of Cyprus, he added.

    Answering questions, President Christofias said that he agrees with Ban Ki-moons invitation for the three to meet again early next year.

    Of course it is our wish too. Why would we come here and hold talks? To waste time? We hold talks to solve the Cyprus problem. The issue is once the differences diminish on the core issues of the Cyprus problem that the SG said little progress was achieved and on others no progress, we will reach a convergence on all aspects of the Cyprus problem. Then he (SG) will be ready to call for an international conference under the aegis of the UN. Our position is that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council should participate, as well as the EU and the guarantor powers, so that we are able to solve the international aspects of the problem, i.e. guarantees, alliances and others.

    Asked how far we are from what the SG described as end game, President Christofias said this will become evident in January.

    He added that we cannot now talk about how far we are from the end game since we have all agreed to intensify our efforts. We will evaluate this in January, he concluded.

    The talks at Greentree were the fourth meeting of the leaders with the UNSG. The first took place in November 2010, followed by two more meetings held in Geneva on January 26 and July 7, 2011, during which both sides reaffirmed their commitment to finding a comprehensive solution as soon as possible, while in Geneva, on 26 January 2011, the sides agreed to intensify the negotiations.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since 1974, Turkey occupies 37% of Cyprus` territory in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, European Parliament decisions and resolutions, European Council decisions and other resolutions of international fora, which condemn the Turkish invasion and occupation. Ankara has proclaimed a so called `state` in the occupied areas of Cyprus, which the UN have called illegal and asked the international community not to recognise it. The illegal state is only recognised by Ankara.

    UN - led negotiations have been underway since 2008 between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus with an aim to reunify the island under a federal roof.

    The Republic of Cyprus is a full EU member state since May 2004. Turkey aspires to join the EU but said it would not talk to Cyprus when Nicosia assumes the rotating EU presidency in the second half of 2012.


    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said Tuesday that the leaders of the two communities of Cyprus have agreed that efforts are essential over the next two months to move to the end game of the negotiations for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue.

    At the same time, he said after the two day talks at Greentree mansion in Long Island that the leaders assured him that they can finalize a deal, acknowledging that there is still work to be done and that by January, when they will meet again with the SG, Ban expects that the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem will have been resolved so that they can move to the multilateral conference shortly thereafter.

    Ban Ki-moon made the remarks in the presence of President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and their aides after the negotiations were concluded Monday in New York.

    In his remarks, the UNSG thanked the two leaders for accepting his invitation to join him at Greentree over the last two days.


    The State Department recognizes the right of the Republic of Cyprus to explore for natural resources in its exclusive economic zone, including with the assistance of US companies, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has said Monday.

    She added that ``we look forward to both sides benefiting from shared resources in the context of an overall agreement``.

    Speaking at a dinner organized by the American-Turkish Council in Washington, focusing on bilateral relations, Clinton said that all parties agree on the fundamental goal of achieving a lasting settlement on the island that results in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.

    ``The United States supports the UNs mediation on the Cyprus issue, and we believe that public rhetoric on all sides must be kept to a minimum to give the parties space needed to achieve a solution``, she noted


    The state has the obligation to step in and provide support to the banking system to ensure that it continues to operate and function smoothly, Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias has said, underscoring that the state intervention will be made not by choice but when necessary and upon the invitation of the competent supervising authority.

    In statements to the press after the discussion of three new government Bills at the Parliamentary Committee on Financial and Budgetary Affairs on Tuesday, Kazamias said that the legislation will act as an added safeguard for financial institutions and would help boost the confidence placed of clients, partners and foreign investors.

    Kazamias said that he stressed to MPs that a state intervention will take place only after the private sector has taken all necessary action and will aim to ensure financial stability.

    He also clarified that any possible state intervention would only be made upon the request by Central Bank of Cyprus and only after a consultation with the competent supervising authority of the financial institution in question. The Central Bank of Cyprus is responsible for supervising banks whereas the Central Cooperative Bank supervises cooperative credit institutions.

    In such a case, the government should and is obligated to protect the rights and interests of the Cypriot taxpayer, Kazamias stressed.

    He further expressed the view that a spirit of mutual understanding and readiness for cooperation were evident during the discussion, which took place.

    Kazamias reiterated that if the government was called upon to act, it would undertake its obligation and will be glad when its aid will no longer be necessary.

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