Don’t waste convergence on Cyprus: UN
NEW YORK - Anatolia News Agency
U.N. envoy in Cyprus Alexander Downer. AP PhotoAdvancements made by the sides in the Cyprus dispute should not been thrown away now amid an impasse in negotiations, according to the U.N. secretary-general’s special adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer.
“There have been more improvements than the public realizes. The United Nations does not want these improvements to be wasted,” Downer said at a press conference May 23 in New York following a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
Downer said his meeting with Davutoğlu was positive and that they had held talks about the upcoming period of Cyprus discussions. The adviser added, however, that an international conference on Cyprus was not on the agenda because Greek Cypriots were not willing to hold it.
“There should be an expectation that such a meeting would be successful, otherwise it would not be meaningful to organize an international meeting,” he said, adding that the U.N. was willing to hold an international conference if the two parties in Cyprus also wished to do so.
Downer also said “an uncertain” period was coming in the wake of incumbent Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias’ decision not to stand for re-election in February 2013.
The adviser said Christofias’ motivation to reach a solution continued even though Greek Cyprus will assume the European Union’s rotating term presidency on July 1 and despite the approaching end of his mandate.
Technical committees will continue to work in Cyprus, he said, adding that his team in Cyprus would be holding talks on both sides next week.
According to diplomatic sources, Davutoğlu asked at the New York meeting for the U.N. and Downer’s open opinions and about their forthcoming plans.
Downer reportedly said he did not want to break ties but was instead working on building trust between both sides.