Nicosia.- Initiatives ought to be undertaken in order to persuade the international community of our will to find a solution to the Cyprus issue, President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has said.
According to an official press release issued here on Friday, President Christofias, who was addressing on Thursday night a book presentation in Nicosia, said that he has personally concluded that Turkey has been, for a while now, accusing the Republic of Cyprus of not wanting a solution, projecting the argument that it rejected the previous UN Secretary General’s Kofi Anan’s plan in 2004, whereas Turkey supported it.
“No Turkish official will hold contacts without putting forward this argument”, he said, expressing the view that “we have maybe underestimated this argument and we still do”.
President Christofias further noted that “we need to work with the international community in order to be persuasive as to the reasons why the plan was rejected”, adding that “we need to undertake initiatives to persuade that we wish for the Cyprus issue to be resolved and that the obstacle preventing a solution is the establishment in both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot Community”.
UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon is expected to submit by the end of the week a report to the Security Council, on the progress of his good offices mission. The outlook is pessimistic.
President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met last Tuesday at the Chief of Mission’s residence in the United Nations Protected Area of Nicosia, in the presence of Special Adviser Alexander Downer.
President Christofias said that discussion on the chapter of properties began and will continue during the leaders’ next meeting, February 28.
According to sources the climate at the meeting was negative and despite the call of the SG after the Greentree meeting, not all the data on properties was exchanged. Eroglu accused Christofias for leaking confidential papers to the Greek Cypriot press.
The UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus is due to submit a report to the Secretary General by the end of March, with his recommendation on if it’s possible to convene a multilateral conference. Based to what it was accomplished so far, it is expected to suggest continuation of the talks but not a multilateral meeting.
Speaking to the press after Tuesday’s meeting between the leaders, Downer has described as “challenging” the task of preparing and submitting a report to the UN chief on the Cyprus talks by the end of Match. He said that the leaders will meet again next Tuesday to continue their discussion on the same issue and decide how to proceed.
Asked about two reports on the progress of the talks – one to be submitted to the Security Council by the UNSG and the other to Ban Ki moun by himself -, Downer said that “the UN is investing a lot of energy in this process and has, of course, over a long period of time”.
He added that “the UN is a complex institution”, noting that “the UN is not just the SG or not just me and the SG”.
“In the context of the Cyprus issue, importantly, there is the SC”, he said, adding that “the leaders like to remind everybody of this on many occasions, there are a series of SC resolutions and the SC needs to be informed by the SG on a periodic basis of all the security issues that the SG deals with”.
He went on to say that he orally briefed the members of the SC after the Greentree meeting between the SG and the two community leaders, noting that UNSG would produce his own report for them.
“I have given them an oral briefing but he would like to provide a report and I think that is appropriate. I mean, they would like to receive a report and they want to read what the SG has to say”, he added.
In addition, he said that during the Greentree meeting, the SG and the UN team thought that “it would be useful if I provided a report to the SG”.
“This is not a report to the SC, this is a report from me to the SG at the end of March on the way forward, so I’ll be doing that”, he said.
Asked if he could elaborate on that report, he replied: “I’ll elaborate on it at the time. Today is late February so in a month or so, I’ll be turning my mind to this challenging task of producing this report”.
“But I don’t know what it will say. I simply can’t speculate on it at this stage”, he added.
Asked what the leaders are doing now since they have already discussed everything regarding the property issue, he said that “there has been exchange of data and so on. So, that obviously is a context for discussion”.
“They also exchanged papers on property some time ago during the Greentree II meeting so that is also a basis for the discussion”, he concluded.