Nicosia.- (CNA) – The property issue in one of the “very hard” issues of the talks, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser Alexander Downer told reporters after his meeting on Friday with President Demetris Christofias, with whom he discussed the progress of UN –led talks for a Cyprus solution.
At the same time, he said he was “cautiously optimistic that these two leaders can reach a successful conclusion to their talks and that on the property issue they will in the end be able to find a way through all of these.”
On the progress at the talks, he said the property issue is a complicated issue and there is a lot involved and it is going to take a bit of time to work through all of those issues.
“Is not an easy issue and there are so many different aspects to it which of course have to be all looked up”, he said.
Downer said that the representatives are going to talk about the issue next Thursday, adding that this is a very constructive way to handle it and expressed the view that they would able to talk through some of the detailed issues constructively. He said that in the meantime the leaders are going to talk about some of the other issues, governance and power sharing at their meeting next Tuesday.
Downer was invited to comment on the disagreement between the two sides on matters of principle on the property issue.
“As you know from years and years of discussion of these issues there are some core principles involved but they need to be looking at some of the details, as well as the positions of the two sides in terms of the broader principles that are well known for many years. But there needs some exploration of some of the details on how the whole property situation looks,” he said.
He added that “we will wait and see what happens at the meeting next Thursday”.
Referring to his meeting with President Christofias, Downer said he had a very good and useful discussion with him about the talks and on how the talks are progressing.
Asked whether the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed any intention of visiting Cyprus, he said that Ban is interested but no decision had been made on when that might be. He added that at the moment, the Secretary General is very focused at the upcoming discussions on climate change in Copenhagen, though the Cyprus question is an important priority for him as well.
Downer said that last week he had a quite long conversation with him where he realized that he is very focused on the issue. He also clarified that the time of UN Secretary’s General visit in Cyprus does not depends on the progress in negotiations, but on the scheduling of all of his works.
“He often comes to Europe so I wouldn’t necessarily link his visit to any particular trip because he makes some fairly frequent trips either to Europe or to the Middle East region. So coming to Cyprus will always be a possibility. But there is no decision”, Downer said.
On a possible meeting with the new Prime Minister of Greece, the Australian diplomat said that he would like to go to Athens and see him soon, noting that he had talked to him a few months ago.
On Greek Cypriot concerns about Turkish proposals based on confederation instead of federation, Downer said that “the Security Council has defined the basis of a settlement of the Cyprus problem, and that is a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality and a single international personality”.
“So, we work in the UN on that basis. We obviously promote what the Security Council has resolved, and that is, we promote the bizonal, bicommunal federation model. And the Turkish Cypriots tell us that they support that model,” he concluded.