United Nations.- The leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities are scheduled to meet with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 18 November in New York as part of the United Nations-backed talks aimed at reunifying the Mediterranean island, the world body announced Saturday.
“The meeting is taking place in the framework of the ongoing negotiation process to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, conducted by the two communities under the auspices of the United Nations,” the office of the Secretary-General’s spokesperson stated.
Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and his Turkish counterpart Dervis Eroglu have been meeting periodically with the aim of working towards “a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolution.”
That partnership would comprise a federal government with a single international personality, along with a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, which would be of equal status.
Earlier this month, Mr. Ban urged the two leaders to achieve concrete advances in their talks to maintain momentum in the peace process, which he noted has been slow recently.
The Secretary-General follows developments in the negotiations, which were launched in 2008, through his Special Adviser for Cyprus, Alexander Downer.
The agenda of the meeting, scheduled for Thursday afternoon remains to be agreed. It’s possible the Secretary General to have separate meetings with the two leaders in the morning of the 18. The Secretary General wants to push the talks on the property issue an in order to succeed he will try to clarify how far the Turkish Cypriot side wants to go on the territorial adjustments, in order for more Greek Cypriots to return under Greek Cypriot administration. Another issue he may raise is to safeguard the convergences succeed last Spring between Christofias and Talat on the governance issue.
According to diplomatic sources, a joint statement is possible to be issued after the joint meeting. The same sources characterize the two meetings between Chistofias and Eroglu, in the following days, crucial for the success of the tripartite meeting in New York. Secretary General’s Cyprus Special Advisor Alexander Downer met with Dervis Eroglu on Friday and with President Christofias on Saturday.