World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Cypriot President Dervis Eroglu on Saturday met with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Eroglu said Cyprus negotiations were in a gridlock after the Greek Cypriot administration assumed the rotating helm of the European Union, adding that resumption of the settlement talks were not in sight until a new Greek Cypriot leader was elected in a voting scheduled for next February to replace Demetris Christofias who announced that he would not seek re-election.
"Talks are stalled because Christofias turned down our proposal to work out a time table for settlement and hold a multilateral meeting. We hope that the one who will be elected will be in a position to take a step towards a viable and lasting settlement," Eroglu said.
Diplomatic sources close to the Eroglu-Ban meeting said the Turkish Cypriot president had briefed the UN chief about relations between the two Cypriot communities as well as on the Greek Cypriot effort for off-shore drilling for oil and gas around the island.
Sources said Eroglu presented Ban a proposal on how to explore and transport hydro-carbon resources of the island.
The proposal includes the appointment by the UN head a mediator to chair a technical committee of Turkish and Greek Cypriot envoys as well as transporting oil and gas to Europe by pipelines over Turkey.
Catalonia police spokesman Josep Lluis Trapero added that a driver who mowed down crowds of pedestrians in the first attack in a busy Barcelona street Thursday could be among five suspects later shot dead in a nearby city.
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For his part, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told RTL radio that "the number of those who have been seriously injured may perhaps be even higher at around 17."
New York Police Department officials said the force would hold a press conference but declined to provide scheduling details.
Death toll feared to rise due to severe conditions of the many injured
The pickup truck, which had an improvised white wooden trailer constructed over the back, was transporting them in "overcrowded and unsanitary conditions," said a state police report seen by AFP.
At least 13 people were killed and more than 50 injured when a driver deliberately slammed his vehicle into crowds on Barcelona's most popular street -- Las Ramblas -- in what police qualified as a "terror attack."
The van attack that mowed down pedestrians on Barcelona's most famous street on Thursday killing at least 13 people was the latest fatal assault on a European city.
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