Turks opposes continuing Cypriot talks after July 1
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsTurkey and the Turkish Cypriots are pushing to finish negotiations on Cypriot reunification by July 1 when Greek Cyprus is set to take over the EU Presidency amid growing speculation that the United Nations will propose continued talks after the date.
“Any talks after July 1 have no importance,” a Turkish Cypriot official told the Hürriyet Daily News, adding that the negotiations should be at a multilateral conference. “Every option is on the table,” the official said, addressing the question of whether Turkish Cypriots might withdraw from or suspend talks if U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls for Greek and Turkish Cypriots to continue negotiations after July 1. “Our expectation is to finish talks by July 1, with either agreement or disagreement,” another Turkish Cypriot official told the Daily News.
Following a trilateral summit on Cyprus that was held at the Greentree Estate in New York in January, Ban had said a multilateral conference might be held, depending on the report which the U.N.
secretary-general’s special adviser, Alexander Downer, is set to present later this month.
Downer will publish his assessment report in late March to express his findings on the two parties’ performances in the discussions on three vital issues of reunification: power sharing and government, citizenship and property. He will verbally convey his assessment to Security Council members first, before submitting it to the U.N. secretary-general.
Downer not hopeful for Cyprus talks
Downer, however, told the Associated Press in an interview that Ban had planned to call an international conference by early May, but added the two sides had not yet converged closely enough on key issues. Downer said Turkish Cypriots believed negotiations during the six-month EU presidency of Greek Cyprus would be “meaningless,” since Christofias would be preoccupied with EU matters. “If one side chooses not to turn up to the talks anymore, that is the end,” he said.