President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Mehmet Ali Talat, said Wednesday that "we want to find a solution in Cyprus before the end of the year."
Talat and the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration Demetris Christofias would handle the matters of administration and power sharing in their meeting of September 11th.
President Talat's meeting with Christofias at the buffer zone in Lefkosa on Wednesday ended. The meeting was also attended by Taye-Brook Zerihoun, the Special representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus and head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), and Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-General's special adviser for Cyprus.
Following the meeting that lasted around two hours, Downer said that the two Cypriot leaders would meet again on Thursday, September 11th.
"On September 11th, the two leaders would discuss procedure of talks. Negotiations on Thursday would begin on topics of administration and power sharing," Downer said.
I was impressed with the good will displayed by the two Cypriot leaders, Downer said.
"The two leaders displayed sincerity during today's meeting," Downer said.
Following Downer's comments, the two Cypriot leaders answered questions of the press corps.
Not any surprise
Asked if Talat surprised him at today's meeting, Christofias said that "I have not met any surprise. Mehmet Ali Talat was the same Talat."
In response to a question on whether or not the borders in the island would be removed, Christofias stressed that "we began discussions with this goal. We would like to remove the borders as soon as possible."
"There is a joint desire and joint will on the matter. We would like to act on the matter in the shortest time possible," Christofias said.
Asked if he is negotiating without pressure from Ankara, Talat replied that "Ankara always supports a solution in Cyprus."
Pointing out that Ankara's support played an important role in the resumption of negotiations after a silent period of four years, Talat indicated that "we are for a solution. Ankara supports us. We are confident that we would be successful in reaching a comprehensive agreement."
"We would like to reach an agreement by the end of 2008," Talat noted.
"The representatives of the two Cypriot leaders would continue with discussions on procedure of talks. Today's meeting meant the beginning of negotiations," Talat said.
In regard to a question on whether or not Ankara would accept to withdraw its troops from the island, Talat replied that "you always talk about Ankara. What happened to Ankara? Ankara indeed supports a solution."
Downer read aloud a message from the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, after the two Cypriot leaders finished answering questions.
In his message, Ban Ki-Moon expressed "pleasure on the resumption of negotiations in Cyprus."
"I wish the Cypriot leaders a serious effort and commitment. I hope that the negotiations would be completed with success. The UN supports the efforts of both sides in Cyprus," Ban Ki-Moon said.
"We support the joint historical step in Cyprus. We wish for a unification that would be to the interests of all those living in Cyprus," Ban Ki-Moon added.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Eylül 2008, 07:54