John Kerry: “We’re working on Cyprus quietly. You’re not hearing about it” – UNSG Ban Ki-Moon: Communities in Cyprus close to joint communiqué.
United Nations.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
US Secretary of State John Kerry avoided in public comments, following his recent separate meetings with his Greek and Turkish counterparts to mention Cyprus amongst the topics discussed, although both Evangelos Venizelos and Ahmet Davutoglu have done so. Now we know that Cyprus’ omission was because US administration is working behind the scenes to break a deal in Cyprus.
“We’re working on Cyprus quietly. You’re not hearing about it. We’re working on Nagorno-Karabakh, the Caucasus. We have an extraordinary amount of diplomatic reach at this particular moment, including in Latin America”, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday, at Munich Security Conference. Later on Saturday Kerry met once more with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.
US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland will be in Nicosia, Cyprus, on February 4, to meet with officials of the Cypriot government to discuss initiatives to further develop and enhance US-Cypriot relations.
According to a State Department official statement, Nuland will also meet with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders to convey American support for accelerating progress toward a fair and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem through the process facilitated by the UN Secretary General’s Good Offices Mission.
Two days earlier, on February 2, she will be in Athens, Greece, to meet with senior Greek government officials, business leaders and civil society to discuss bilateral and global issues, including economic growth, entrepreneurship, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
Diplomatic sources said the visits were a follow-up of contacts with countries she covers.
The two communities in Cyprus are close to conclude to a joint communique that would pave the way for the resumption of the talks for Cyprus settlement, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has said.
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of a conference on security, in Munich Saturday, Ban was asked about a possible resumption of the UN-led peace talks on Cyprus and he said that he continues to work and hope for a prompt resumption of the negotiations in Cyprus.
“My special advisor, Alexander Downer, has been meeting the leaders of the two communities to help agree on a joint communiqué which can provide a good basis and parameters for the negotiations”, he noted.
Making two gaffes in a sentence he went on to say that “unfortunately, these negotiations [were] suspended because of a change of government in the Greek Cypriot community of Cyprus. After that, there was an economic crisis”.
UNSG added that “all this kind of a political and economic situation has not been helpful in resuming the negotiations” and that both leaders, when he has spoken to them several times, “are very much committed to continue their negotiations, and they agreed to have a joint communiqué before they resume their negotiations”.
“The United Nations, through Alexander Downer, has really been coordinating and helping them. I believe that it is very close. They have agreed on most of the areas. [It is] very close. But this bridge should be filled” Ban pointed out.
He also added that the UN will try to do their best to resume these negotiations as soon as possible, saying that he was also talking to guarantor countries like Greece and Turkey.
“I met the Turkish leadership, and I am in constant consultations with leaders”, he concluded.