UN chief calls off Cyprus conference

UN chief calls off Cyprus conference

UNITED NATIONS - The Associated Press
UN chief calls off Cyprus conference

Downer (L) says two sides have not reached a solution yet on key issues. AA photo

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders have not made sufficient progress during talks on reunifying Cyprus to call an international conference at this time.

Ban’s spokesman made the announcement April 21 afternoon following the secretary-general’s meeting on April 20 with Alexander Downer, the U.N. special adviser on Cyprus, and telephone calls earlier April 21 with Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu and Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias.

Ban has been pressing the two leaders to reach a settlement, and Downer said last month he had planned to call an international conference by early May, bringing together Turkey, Greece and Britain with the aim of putting the finishing touches on an accord.

But Downer said the two sides have not yet converged closely enough on key issues. He said talks are stalled on how executive power would be shared under an envisioned federation and on how to deal with private property lost during the invasion.

Ban’s spokesman said that on the basis of the meeting with Downer on April 20, “the secretary-general shared his assessment that there is not the sufficient progress on core issues that would provide a basis for calling an international conference at this time.” “He urged the two sides to take bold and decisive action in order to move the process forward,” the spokesman said.