|Thursday, 23 May 2013|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-04-02
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 SENIOR UN OFFICIAL - PRESS CONFERENCEUN Under Secretary General Lynn Pascoe has said he is very encouraged from what he has heard during his visit to Cyprus, noting that he will pass this on to the UN Secretary General and Security Council when he returns to New York.
There is a positive tone here in Cyprus at the moment and a probable sense of momentum, Pascoe told a press conference today, concluding his visit here, noting the two leaders have set their sight at achieving a fair and lasting solution and Cypriots are right to have high expectations.
I am encouraged and I will pass this on to the SG when I talk to him, he added, noting that his message will be positive and a hopeful one.
Pascoe described his visit as very good, noting that he has had extremely good conversations with Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat as well as with the political leaders and civil society representatives in both the north and the south.
He said that the came to the island to see primarily how the UN can be most helpful in the process reached by the leaders on 21 March, adding that during the past two and a half days we are discussing this with many - many people.
I wanted to get a sense of how people in Cyprus see their future together and I again I was very encouraged from what Ive heard. When I go back to New York I will report to the SG as well as to the Security Council. My message will be positive and a hopeful one, Pascoe noted.
The UN official noted that the he wants to be practical and explained that there will be hard work here for the first three months and continuing if the two sides are to come to an agreement, it is our sincere hope and expectation that the period in the next three months will take us to fully fledged negotiations and a settlement.
We all know that achieving a solution will not be easy. There are many issues that have been around for many years there have been many discussions on, some have been productive, some have led nowhere but we will work on them, the UN USG said, adding this is something that must be achieved by the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot leadership supported by their people. It requires hard work and compromise but I am confident at the end the two sides, with our help, can succeed, he said.
Responding to a question, Pascoe said the UN works very closely with the EU as well as with others interested in the situation in Cyprus.
Asked if he was able to define the parameters of a possible solution, he said that the many negotiations and past efforts have made clear what the main issues are out there that we all need to work on, adding there has been a lot of work done much had been agreed on various times but of course you dont have a final agreement until everything is agreed upon.
So there is a lot to work with, there is a lot that we can do, and certainly the two leaders know what the basic parameters they are working under are, where we can go and what we can accomplish, Pascoe said and added: The trick is always to close those gaps to find the appropriate trade offs to come up with a package that the people on both sides of the line can support. Thats our goal we want to work and we will continue in that process.
As regards the appointment of the new UN envoy for Cyprus, he said the two parties have made it clear that they want to spend the first three months at the working group level to develop the appropriate areas and issues for the leaders to concentrate on for the heavy political negotiations.
He introduced Elizabeth Spehar the acting special representative for UNFICYP for the next month, noting that in this first period UNFICYP will support the committees and if the progress there is substantial and it looks that we are headed in the right direction then the SG will decide whether he is going to make an appointment as we want to be there when the major talks begin and we are very hopeful that the process will move forward.
Responding to a question on conflicting reports on the opening of Ledra street checkpoint in Nicosia, the UN official said we are moving forward in the Ledra street to be open.
He pointed out that the main object is not political although some people are trying to make it and that main problem there is to have a safe crossing as many buildings are ready to collapse.
Shortly after the press conference, the Cyprus government announced that the crossing point at Ledra street, to and from the islands northern Turkish occupied areas, will open on Thursday.
Finally replying to a question on Turkeys stance, he said all interested countries are quite enthusiastic about the process moving forward and there is a lot of good will for a resolution of the Cyprus issue.
He concluded that he will be traveling around Athens, Ankara, Europe and we will do what we can to promote a settlement. Right at this point everyone has been extraordinarily encouraging to move this process forward.
 BRYZA - INTERVIEW - CNAThe US anxiously awaits the outcome of Under Secretary General Lynn Pascoes current assessment mission to the island.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matt Bryza has told CNA in an interview that there is really a chance now to rejuvenate the UN settlement process, adding that the US thinks that this is a critical year.
He also said that Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou will meet Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte during his forthcoming Washington visit.
Asked if he believed the sense of euphoria on Cyprus, following the election of President Demetris Christofias, could materialise on something positive that could lead to a settlement, Bryza replied that he would not characterise the situation on the island as euphoric, but I would definitely agree that there seems to be a new and constructive spirit on the island that has coincided with President Christofias election.
Bryza noted that they need to look no further than the outcome of President Christofias meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on 21 March, in which the two leaders made concrete progress on resuming the settlement process, not only on the basis of the working groups that will be convened, but also with talk of a comprehensive settlement talks beginning within three months.
 BRITAIN - TURKEY - CYPRUS TALKSA solution to the continued division within Cyprus is in all our interests, British Minister for Europe Jim Murphy has said.
In a speech in Constantinople (Istanbul) on Monday, Murphy also said that Britain is not prepared to put up with failure in the efforts for a Cyprus settlement.
Referring to Turkeys EU accession course, Murphy said that the search for a settlement in Cyprus is important and it is important in its own right.
He said that as a guarantor power, like the UK, Turkey has a central role to play in supporting the UN`s efforts in taking forward a settlement process and making substantive progress over the coming months.
 EURO PARLIAMENT - VASSILIOUMembers of the European Parliament held a question and answer session with prospective health Commissioner Androula Vassiliou to assess her suitability and qualifications. It was also an opportunity for MEPs on the Environment, Agriculture, Internal Market and Employment Committees to gauge her political views and sentiments. Vassiliou stressed her legal and Parliamentary qualifications for the position.
A new Commissioner is needed following the resignation of Cypriot Markos Kyprianou, who left to take up the post of foreign minister in the new Cypriot government. Vassiliou was nominated by the Cypriot government and the Council of the European Union has already given its support to her nomination.
Vassiliou told MEPs that she is committed to ensuring a firm enforcement of EU law relating to health by all member states and that she will ensure to prepare the ground for future work after the elections and the nomination of the next Commission.
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