Cyprus starts three-day intensified talks

Talat and Christofias met under a new and intensified stage of negotiations in Cyprus on Monday.

Cyprus starts three-day intensified talks

President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias met under a new and intensified stage of negotiations in Cyprus on Monday.

The first round of intensified talks began at the residence of Taye Brook Zerihoun, the special representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus, at the buffer zone in Lefkosa.

Apart from Talat and Christofias, their teams, Zerihoun and UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer are also attending the meeting.

Intensified talks will be held in two rounds and each round will take 3 days, officials said.

Leaders will also meet on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the first round while they will get together on January 25, 26 and 27 within the framework of the second round.

Cypriot leaders held their 60th meeting last Monday as part of the negotiations they launched in September 2008 to find a comprehensive settlement to Cyprus issue.

The leaders are expected to discuss "management and share of power", "economy", "European Union" and "property" issues in their intensified negotiations.

UN sees the intensified talks as "an important opportunity to achieve a remarkable improvement in the ongoing process in the island".

On the other hand, sources said that the Greek Cypriot party refused the issues proposed by TRNC to be discussed during intensified talks before they were even brought to table, moreover, it leaked the details of such package to the press.

In an "unofficial" meeting presided by Christofias on Sunday, Greek Cypriot party leaders said that Talat's proposals were "unacceptable and they could not lay the foundation for the talks".

TRNC expressed disappointment over such development and Turkish Cypriot presidential spokesperson Hasan Ercakica said in a written statement that Talat was expecting to hear the "official view" of the Greek Cypriot party from Christofias during today's gathering.

"Despite the problems in the negotiation process, TRNC is determined to act in accordance with the official stance to be laid down by the Greek Cypriot party before UN officials and to continue with its positive contributions provided that the opposing party displays a positive attitude as well," Ercakica said.

"Cyprus issue"

Gaining independence from the UK in 1960, Cyprus became a bi-communal Republic where Greek and Turkish Cypriot constituent communities would share power guaranteed by the UK, Turkey and Greece. However, reluctant to share power and pursuing a policy of Enosis (Union) with Greece, Greek Cypriots soon expelled Turkish Cypriots from power and terrorised and ghettoised them.

Decades long armed attacks on the defenseless Turkish Cypriots culminated in 1974 when an Athens-backed Greek Cypriot military coup on the island led to Turkey's intervention based on its rights stemming from guarantor agreement.

Although the Republic of Cyprus as described in the 1959 agreements is no longer there, Greek Cypriots continue to enjoy this title and international recognition while the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a fully democratic government representing Turkish Cypriots, still suffers under an unfair political and economic blockade.

Cyprus joined the EU as a divided island when Greek Cypriots in the south rejected the UN reunification plan in twin referendums in 2004 even though the Turkish Cypriots in the north overwhelmingly supported it.

The promise made by EU foreign ministers before the referendums to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and establish direct trade with north Cyprus remains unfulfilled.


Last Mod: 11 Ocak 2010, 11:57
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