Cypriot leaders make further progress in reunification process – UN

13 November 2008

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders made good progress today in talks on the judiciary as part of broader United Nations-sponsored negotiations aimed at reunifying the Mediterranean island, a top UN envoy said.

Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will meet again on Monday to discus deadlock-resolving mechanisms, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Adviser for Cyprus Alexander Downer told a news conference in Nicosia after today’s session.

Meanwhile their representatives and officials will hold further talks tomorrow on a range of issues that the leaders have referred to them. In May, the two leaders committed to a partnership that will comprise a Federal Government with a single international identity, along with a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, which will be of equal status.

“They are working through the governance and power-sharing chapter and identifying issues,” Mr. Downer said, dividing these into three areas: agreement, disagreement but short-term prospects for negotiating, and significant disagreements to be discussed at a later stage.

Governance and power sharing are central to resolving the problem of Cyprus, where UN peacekeepers have been deployed since March 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.

Mr. Downer said he had no plans to increase the meetings from once to twice a week, nor did he feel that setting a deadline for conclusion would help.

“I think the important thing is that they maintain momentum. Obviously there will be easier issues and more difficult issues, so the momentum won’t be straight-line momentum, but nevertheless they need to maintain momentum and not lose momentum,” he noted. “I think to set themselves official deadlines would actually make the process more difficult rather than easier.”


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News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Steady progress being made in Cyprus reunification talks, UN envoy says

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders are making steady progress on the issue of governance as part of broader United Nations-sponsored negotiations aimed at reunifying the Mediterranean island, a top UN envoy said today.