President Christofias urges UN to defend its resolutions and principles. Turkish positions don’t allow optimism.
United Nations.- by Apostolos Zoupaniotis.
President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has urged the Turkish Cypriot side to chance its stance and thus pave the way for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
In statements Friday at New York, where he will hold a two-day intensive meeting, on Sunday and Monday, with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, President Christofias also called upon the UN to defend their principles and the UN resolutions on Cyprus.
”My appeal to the Turkish Cypriot side is to demonstrate understanding and change its positions to the better. My appeal to the UN and the UNSG is to defend principles and above all, to defend the UN resolutions”, he stressed.
President Christofias said that the Turkish stance leaves no room for great expectations as regards the New York meeting.
He said that after the July meeting between the two leaders with the UNSG in Geneva, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side began changing their positions in a negative manner on many important aspects of the Cyprus issue, mainly as regards the chapter on governance and expressed the view that statements made by the Turkish Cypriot side that the two sides are close to an agreement, are part of a ”blame-game” tactic.
”I had wished to be close to an agreement. However, we are not, and I hope that the UNSG will receive a correct information about the situation on behalf of his advisors”, he underlined.
Concluding, he expressed the wish that ”real progress is achieved during this meeting”, noting that this can be achieved when Turkey changes its intransigent stance.
President Christofias arrived in New York, accompanied by Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou, Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou, and member of the negotiating team Toumazos Tselepis.
On Saturday, President Christofias received Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinides, who was visiting the United States and earlier this week he held a meeting with his US counterpart Hilary Clinton, in Washington.
Meanwhile, member of the Cypriot negotiating team and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nicos Emiliou held a series of meetings yesterday with the Ambassadors of Russia and France as well as with Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Lynn Pascoe.
On Saturday, a broad internal meeting took place at the UN headquarters under UNSG Ban Ki-moon and his team during which they will be informed by UNSG’s Special Advisor for Cyprus Alexander Downer on the Cyprus talks. Later in the afternoon Downer met separately with the representatives of the leaders, George Iakovou and Kudret Osersay to discuss the last procedural details of the Greentree meetings.
The New York meeting will begin Sunday at the “Green Tree” mansion, in Long Island with a working breakfast in the presence of UNSG, followed by negotiations between the two sides, some of them under the secretary general and some under Downer.
President Christofias insisted that the Secretary General should spend more time in the negotiation and he made clear speaking to the press on Friday that he expects that to happen.
During the meeting, the UN Secretary-General is expected to review progress reached in all core issues that were discussed in the framework of intensive direct talks for a Cyprus solution, and decide on the way forward.
The Secretary-General will make statements to the press on Monday evening, upon the conclusion of the meetings, at 7 pm. Following that public appearance in the presence of the two leaders, Ban ki-Moon along with Alexander Downer, the two leaders and their representatives will have a working dinner to discuss the way ahead.
Although no official deadline has been set for the conclusion of the talks, the Secretary General wants that to happen prior to the Cypriot EU Presidency, July 1st 2012. The Secretary General has encouraged the two sides to take full advantage of the team of experts his has placed in order to assist them on delicate issues, especially property. These experts are trying to bridge differences by offering their own ideas.
At the same time the Secretary General has asked the guarantor powers, the permanent members of the Security council and the EU to be more actively involved, encouraging the two sides to be more flexible.
This will be the forth meeting with the Secretary-General. The first took place in November 2010, followed by two more meetings held in Geneva on January 26 and July 7, 2011, during which both sides reaffirmed their commitment to finding a comprehensive solution as soon as possible, while in Geneva, on 26 January 2011, the sides agreed to intensify the negotiations.
After more than three years of settlement talks, time has come to close all outstanding core issues, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso has said Friday.
In a statement ahead of the meeting of UNSG Ban Ki-moon with President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on Saturday and Sunday in New York, President Barroso said that the European Commission expects the meeting ”to produce tangible results, paving the way for the final phase of the process”.
”I am following very closely the whole process, I would like to call on both leaders to grasp the opportunity to reach a comprehensive settlement now”, Barroso noted.
He added that the two leaders and the United Nations could continue to count on the European Commission’s full support ”for their historic endeavour”.
Barroso also said that all Cypriots and the European Union will benefit from a united Cyprus.