Nicosia.- The new UN Secretary Generalʼs Special Representative in Cyprus is expected to arrive here between 7 – 12 May, 2008, Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou has said. Iacovou, who met Thursday Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar, said that Spehar will leave Cyprus during the same period (7-12 May) to brief the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about developments in Cyprus. The Presidential Commissioner added that Ban Ki – moon has not decided yet whether to send a Special Envoy to Cyprus.
Iacovou noted that this will depend on the progress achieved during the bicommunal discussions held by the working groups and technical committees which have been set up in the context of the March 21 agreement, between President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in order to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations.
Their objective is to find a negotiated settlement, acceptable to both communities on the island, which will reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
Asked about the meeting with Spehar, Iacovou said it had been arranged long ago and it concerned issues related to the presence of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the UN good offices in Cyprus and relations between Cyprus and the UN.
Later on, Iacovou held a joint meeting with Spehar and the Turkish Cypriot leaderʼs aide, Ozdil Nami.
During the meeting, he said, they evaluated the procedure which began Tuesday and continued today regarding the meetings of the bicommunal working groups and the technical committees.
“Our common assessment of the situation is that everything has evolved very smoothly,” he noted.
The technical committees and the working groups met for the second time today. Iacovou said that based on the reports of the people in charge of each team, todayʼs second meeting will also run smoothly.
Asked whether he is satisfied with the work achieved so far, he said “yes” but noted that it is too soon to jump into conclusions.
Asked if more teams are likely to be set up, he said that once the work of the other teams achieves some progress, the discussion on the establishment of other teams will begin most probably next week.
He explained that the March agreement reached between the leaders allows the introduction of more issues under each negotiating chapter.
Asked whether the two leaders will meet again soon, Iacovou said that they may meet on May 7th at a reception hosted by the Slovak embassy which hosts meetings of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot parties in Nicosia.