UN envoy plans visit to Cyprus for resumption of talks

Downer said the change in leadership in one side of Cyprus should not slow down negotiations or cause the re-start of negotiations from scratch.

UN envoy plans visit to Cyprus for resumption of talks

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer said Tuesday the change in leadership in one side of Cyprus should not slow down negotiations or cause the re-start of negotiations from scratch.

"It's our view that the process should continue on the basis of what has taken place so far," mediator Alexander Downer, a former Australian foreign minister, told reporters.

"We hope that those negotiations can come to a successful conclusion before too long," he added. "We don't want to see (the election) leading to a slowing in the momentum, and we don't want to see the whole process start, of course, all over again."

Downer said he planned to return to Cyprus over the weekend following talks with U.N. officials in New York, and would discuss with Eroglu and Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christophias when to resume negotiations.

"We would like to see that happen fairly soon," he said, adding there was a real possibility of a resumption in May.

Downer said there had been "very good progress" in negotiations so far, with broad agreement on governance and power-sharing in a reunited Cyprus, on the economy and EU matters.

He said progress should not be "wasted" by going back to square one, and that statements by both sides since the Turkish Cypriot election suggested they shared that view. "I think the two sides do want to reach an agreement," he said.

Downer said he wanted to focus on what Eroglu would say during negotiations, not on statements made during an election campaign. "What was said during the election was said during the election. Let's just see what happens," he said.

Turkey has said it hopes for a solution to the Cyprus problem by the end of this year.

On April 18, 2010, Dervis Eroglu replaced Mehmet Ali Talat as the new president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias began holding negotiations on September 3, 2008 in order to resolve the Cyprus problem.


Agencies

Last Mod: 28 Nisan 2010, 10:44
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