The leaders of Cyprus’ Greek and Turkish communities will hold intensive talks next week as part of United Nations-led reunification negotiations, a senior official with the world body announced today.
The issue of property will be the focus of the talks, which is scheduled to run all day on both 7 and 10 September. That aspect of the talks tries to resolve numerous complex claims between the two sides on property seized decades ago.
The meetings began in 2008 after the then-leaders of the two communities committed themselves to working towards a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions.
Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias met today to work out the dates for upcoming talks.
Alexander Downer, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Cyprus, told reporters after today’s talks that the UN recognizes that negotiating the settlement is “a very difficult process,” noting that “if this was so easy it would have been solved long ago.”
He said the leaders have made strides in the key area of governance and power-sharing, as well as in issues pertaining to the economy and the European Union (EU).
“It has taken time, of course, but on the other hand, it’s best to take time and get it right, not to rush through things for the sake of rushing through them and get it wrong,” Mr. Downer said.
He said any agreement must be “very carefully thought through,” given that “both sides have to be able to sell it to the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, respectively.”
For its part, the UN, the official said, is “very pleased that the leaders are very committed to achieving a successful outcome and they are working on it.”