Ban looks forward to ‘concrete’ progress at upcoming meeting of Cypriot leaders

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias (left) and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu (right).
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias (left) and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu (right).

Ban looks forward to ‘concrete’ progress at upcoming meeting of Cypriot leaders

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is looking forward to “concrete progress” when the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders meet in New York next week to discuss reunifying the divided Mediterranean island nation, his spokesperson said today.

The meetings on Monday and Tuesday between Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, Dervis Eroglu, will be the fifth time the Secretary-General will be present at the United Nations-facilitated talks.

“The Secretary-General looks forward to a productive meeting and concrete progress,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson, which added that the UN chief has conveyed his expectations to the two leaders.

“He believes that with political will and firm commitment the two leaders can and should reach a much-needed settlement on Cyprus,” it added.

The UN-facilitated talks began in 2008 with the aim of eventually setting up a federal government with a single international personality in a bi-zonal, bi-communal country, with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot constituent states of equal status.

Earlier this month, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, told reporters in Nicosia that Mr. Christofias and Mr. Eroglu will continue to make efforts to reach agreement on core issues, including governance and power-sharing, property rights, territory and citizenship.

The UN has maintained a peacekeeping mission (UNFICYP) in Cyprus since 1964 after an outbreak of inter-communal tensions.