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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-04-16

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The appointment of a new UN Special Representative for Cyprus is expected in June and depends on progress made by the technical committees and working groups on the island, according to UN Undersecretary General Lynn Pascoe.

    Responding to questions after he briefed the Security Council (UNSC) on the results of his meetings in Cyprus, Greece and Turkey during his recent visit in the region, Pascoe said that the commencement of the work of the technical committees and working groups will prepare the ground for fully-fledged negotiations under UN auspices for a comprehensive settlement.

    Basically the idea is to set the working groups, to work and move forward. If the procedure is a positive one, as we believe it will be, the SG will decide on the appointment for the next phase, which is decided for after ninety days and enter a more substantial discussion, after the meetings of the working groups, he said.

    The committees and the groups, comprising representatives of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities, are set to begin work this week, to discuss substantive issues as well as day to day concerns.

    Pascoe said he briefed the Security Council on the Cyprus issue, the positions of the sides and also his visit to the region.

    He noted that he passed over his optimism to the SC, adding however that everyone knows that there are a lot of difficult issues which need to be resolved and expressed the hope that the procedure will move on.

    As regards Turkeys current political instability, he said Ankara is very much committed to the settlement of the Cyprus problem, and that his interlocutors had expressed support to the procedure.

    Asked if 2008 will be the year of Cyprus, the UN official noted that the whole world would be happy to see the Cyprus talks making progress, noting that his wish is to see the Cyprus issue being settled the soonest possible.

    According to Security Council sources, Pascoe noted the positive aspects of his visit in the region, adding that he asked his interlocutors in Athens and Ankara to give the two sides space to breathe and he received positive reassurances.

    The members of the UN SC were also very positive in their remarks, welcomed the fact that the interested parties in Cyprus took the procedure in their own hands for a bi-zonal, bi-communal settlement and that progress is made.

    Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed in March this year to ask their respective advisers, George Iacovou and Ozdil Nami, to meet in order to set up a number of working groups and technical committees and establish their agendas in the most expeditious way possible.

    Iacovou announced Monday he agreed with Ozdil Nami on the agenda of 13 working groups and technical committees.

    The UN are expected to announce on Wednesday the date on which joint Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot working groups and technical committees will begin to work, to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations with a view to find a negotiated settlement that would reunite Cyprus, divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said that there is a new momentum building in Cyprus and pledged her countrys support to efforts to use this new momentum to come to a solution.

    In her remarks at the American-Turkish Council luncheon in the US capital, Rice also said although it is a more hopeful period, ultimately, some difficult choices are going to have to be made by the people.

    Asked if the US had any openings in lifting the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, Rice replied yes, there is a new momentum building on the island, and we very much support efforts to use this new momentum to perhaps finally come to a solution.

    Rice acknowledged the US were disappointed a couple of years ago when the efforts of Kofi Annan, we thought, were very close to producing a result and, frankly, should have produced a result.


    Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov arrives in Cyprus Thursday for meetings as part of Moscows efforts to assist new attempts towards a Cyprus settlement that would reunite the country.

    During his stay, Titov will be received by Cypriot President Demetris Christofias on Friday and on Thursday he will hold talks with the Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou on bilateral issues.

    The Russian official will also meet UN SG Special Representative for Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat

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