United Nations,- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser for Cyprus Alexander Downer on Thursday briefed the Members of the Security Council via a teleconference on the developments to the Cyprus problem.
According to the UK Ambassador to the UN, Lyall Grant, the members had a consultation with Downer “on the developments in the Secretary-General’s report since the last report which was in August last year and in particular on the developments that have happened in Greentree discussions and also since then in discussions between the parties on the island”.
Ambassador Grant whose country currently holds the presidency of the Security Council, said that Downer made the point that over the last few years “substantive amount of agreement had been reached between the parties but that there was still significant gaps on a number of issues”.
He furthermore said that Special Adviser will prepare a report to the UNSG Ban Ki-moon in the second half of April on the basis of which, a decision will be taken on the way forward.
“Obviously all member states offered Mr. Downer their full support in his work in trying to help facilitate a Cypriot owned resolution into the issues”, he noted.
Invited to comment on Turkish statements that “there should be a time limit to reach a solution until the Cyprus Republic assumes the presidency of the EU”, Ambassador Grant said that the Turkish-Cypriot side thinks that a deadline should be set, however “the Greek-Cypriots take the opposite view”.
He noted that Downer explained this to the members of the Security Council, stressing however that he doesn’t want to preemptive report to the Secretary-General in April on these issues.
Asked about the possibility of an international conference to take place, he said that the issue was discussed and “the pros and cons of an international conference in its timing were raised by a number of member-states and by Mr. Downer but he did not reveal what his advice will be to the Secretary-General next month”.
Invited to say whether he is optimistic that a solution could be reached before the Cyprus’ EU Presidency or before the presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus in 2013, he said that Britain believes that “the conditions are right for agreement to be made if the necessary political will is there and the compromises are made on both sides”.
“So we certainly hope that with the facilitation of the UN Good Offices there might be possible for the two sides to reach agreement in the next few months”, he noted.