United Nations.- By Apostolis Zoupaniotis
The Cyprus question was among the issues discussed here today by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Greeceʼs Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyiannis.
Diplomatic sources said afterwards that emphasis was given on efforts to implement the 8 July 2006 agreement reached between Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
The same sources said the UN Chief was following developments on Cyprus very closely. Ban is scheduled to meet tomorrow in New York with President Papadopoulos and plans to have a meeting with Talat on 16 October.
Bakoyiannis told reporters that she had the opportunity to discuss the Cyprus problem with the UN Secretary General and repeat Greeceʼs full backing of the 8 July agreement. What is needed, she added, was a positive response from the Turkish Cypriot side.
“President Papadopoulos has shown his willingness to implement this agreement and move forward. The Turkish Cypriot side needs encouragement to move towards this direction, thus achieving progress” in efforts to solve the longstanding Cyprus problem, the Greek Foreign Minister pointed out.
Papadopoulos and Talat agreed on July 8 last year, in the presence of UN Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Imbrahim Gambari, to set up technical committees and working groups to discuss issues that affect the day to day life of the people and substantive issues of the question of Cyprus. Their top aides, Tasos Tzionis and Rasit Pertev, have held over 50 meetings in the past 14 months to this effect.
On Sunday, Bakoyannis was expected to meet with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, UN special envoy on the name issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Matthew Nimetz and her counterparts from Egypt, Turkey and Jordan.
Addressing the journalists at the UN headquarters, Dora Bakoyiannis pointed out that she expects an initiative by the UN mediator Matthew Nimetz, because of the new dynamics created from the discussion of FYROMʼs NATO application, in Marxh of 2008. Greece has repeatedly warned Skopje that without a resolution of the name dispute, will not allow the neighboring state to became a NATO member. Athens had asked Nimetz to hold on his efforts until the Greek General elections. Nimetz is expected to put forward a new compromise proposal on the name, before the end of the year.
On Monday, the Greek foreign minister will take part in the sessions of the High Level Meeting on Climatic Changes, On the sidelines of this meeting, she will meet with her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and with her Albanian and Saudi Arabian counterparts.
On the same day, she will meet US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns and Serbian President Boris Tadic.
On Tuesday, Bakoyannis will attend a meeting of European Union foreign ministers.
Later the same day, she will attend the start of the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly, which will be also addressed by U.S. President George W. Bush. Later, she will meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Bakoyannis will depart from New York in the afternoon of the same day.