United Nation.- by Apostolos Zoupaniotis
UN Secretary General Ban Ki – moon said Friday that the UN will seek in 2011 progress on many of the longer-term challenges, including helping to reunify Cyprus.
“We will seek progress on many of the longer-term challenges – including peace and security in the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue, bringing a stable government to Somalia, and helping to reunify Cyprus”, Ban said in his opening remarks during his year-end press conference.
Referring to Cyprus, he said “we have worked to increase the momentum in the talks, and I plan to meet leaders next month in Geneva”.
He expressed hope that between now and the meeting in Geneva, “they will continue to build on common ground as I urged them to do last month here in New York”.
Asked what are his expectations ahead of the Geneva meeting and if he considers withdrawing his goodwill mission from Cyprus if the leaders cannot reach a compromise, the UNSG recalled that he held a “very good talk” on 18 November in his office with the two leaders of both communities.
“We were not able to make a significant breakthrough. We know that, while they had been discussing these core issues, they were stuck in property issues. And we were talking about how we can overcome these issues which had been stopped and whether we can change certain approaches in addressing all these core issues”, he continued.
He pointed out that he had asked them, for the coming nine weeks, to meet and expedite the process and meet him in Geneva late January, adding that the date has been fixed and he will visit Geneva.
“I am encouraged that, since the last week of November, they have been accelerating their negotiations bilaterally and I hope that by the time we meet again trilaterally in Geneva, we will be able to have much more substantive progress on core issues”, he went on to add.
Continuing, the UNSG pledged, “I will spare no efforts”.
“I have been speaking with key stakeholders like Turkey, the European Union and Greece. They are all supporting my good offices role and they are also all supporting to see progress in this negotiation”, he concluded.
President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias uses every opportunity to pass the necessary messages regarding the Cyprus problem, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said on Friday, noting that this was not only an element of world politics but a necessity.
Commenting on remarks by President Christofias during a speech in Athens regarding the lack of progress in talks for a settlement of the Cyprus problem, Stephanou said the President often makes references during speeches abroad in order to indicate that the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leadership frequently make statements that are outside the agreed framework of a bizonal bicommunal federation.
He said the President often makes such references ”because we have to inform the international community that, while the Turkish side has launched an international campaign to convince that it wants a solution today, beyond its declarations its actions do not serve the aim of a solution.”
Asked about information that President Christofias has called for intervention so that a meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister can be arranged, Stephanou said that the President’s position is well known and ”he wants to discuss the Cyprus problem and share the vision he has for a solution of the Cyprus problem, which will lead to the termination of the occupation and the reunification of Cyprus.”
Unfortunately, he pointed out there has been no response.
Replying to questions, Stephanou said President Christofias keeps the political parties informed on developments in the Cyprus problem, and consults them.
Christofias wishes Eroglu speedy recovery after angiogram