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Roadmap for resolving the Cyprus dispute announced by Ban Ki-moon, discontent among Greek-Cyprus parties

26 January 2012 / 18:01:33  GRReporter
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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has declared himself for an international conference in late April or early May, which will put an end to the discussions on the final settlement of the Cyprus dispute. He summarized the results of the bilateral meeting between the leaders of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, Demetris Christofias and Dervis Eroglu, and said that he is going to present his report to the Security Council of the international organization in late February. Bilateral talks on Cyprus issues in the presence of the Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Alexander Downer will take place in Nicosia earlier.

The next "stop" on the road map of Ban Ki-moon is the issuing of a resolution by the Security Council. According to Turkish Cypriots, these developments will have a key role in the negotiations. It is believed that Nicosia relies on the position of the permanent members of the Council to block plans that are tailored to achieve the UN Secretary General preconditions for a conference.

Cypriot President Demetris Christofias told reporters that during the two days of talks in New York "there was no progress", although Ban Ki-moon had noted that "limited progress" was achieved.

Demetris Christofias explained, "we are the ones who will assess whether there is sufficient progress to hold a conference." He added, "We will respect the framework for negotiations. The other party will decide whether it will comply with it too. But if the conditions laid down by UN Secretary General himself are not met, i.e. without reaching agreement on internal issues, no conference will take place."

According to the Cypriot President, "there is no connection between the negotiations to resolve the Cyprus dispute and the rotating presidency of the European Union by the Republic of Cyprus." He stressed that during the negotiations "neither party exchanged frameworks of their positions."

In his written message, Ban Ki-moon said that bilateral negotiations in Greentree were tense, but little progress was achieved. In his opinion, the Greek and Turkish Cypriots had arrived in the famous New York mansion challenged to solve three very serious issues concerning the election of executive authorities, the property and citizenship of islanders. He announced that both parties have agreed to complete the exchange of data on property issues within the next two weeks.

"I will be providing a report to the Security Council on the status of the negotiations at the end of February and at the end of March I will seek a review of the process from my Special Adviser. If his report is positive, and consistent with relevant Security Council resolutions, and following consultations with the two sides, I intend to call a multilateral conference in late April or early May. At this stage of the talks, even maintaining the momentum and continuing negotiations in an intensive manner is not sufficient. I have urged the leaders to take decisive steps to move towards a final agreement.”

Cypriot opposition parties expressed their disappointment and concern over the outcome of the meeting in New York. It is stated in a written message to the representative of Dimokratikos Sinagermos Harris Georgiadis that no substantial progress was achieved, while the intention of the United Nations to exert pressure on resolving the Cyprus dispute in a very short time was clearly demonstrated.

Cypriot parties are particularly enraged by the position of Special Adviser Alexander Downer, accusing him of bias towards the position of the Turkish Cypriots, although his post obliges him to follow a policy of "equal distance" between the two communities on the island.

The parties’ response is a result of the statements made by the former Foreign Minister of Australia that Greek Cypriots and not the Republic of Cyprus will take the European Union Presidency in the second half of 2012. There was no official response from the Cypriot government but Cypriot parties called for his withdrawal from the position of Special Adviser on Cyprus to Ban Ki-moon.
According to Cypriot media, Alexander Downer was particularly flattering to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan Tagip and to his party in statements made for the Australian media a few days ago. In the past, he had even expressed the opinion that there are two countries and two presidents in Cyprus, which challenged the Greek Cypriots.

Tags: PoliticsCyprus disputeBilateral talksUNBan Ki-moonDemetris ChristofiasDervis ErogluAlexander DownerMultilateral conference
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