New timetable for talks in pipeline: Downer

Alexander Downer, the United Nations’s special envoy for Cyprus met with Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, in Athens on Thursday to discuss recent developments in talks aimed at the reunification of the island, which has been split along ethnic lines since the 1974.

Downer made reference to the determination, which is shared by both sides in Cyprus, as well as Greece and Turkey and the UN Secretary General, to solve the Cyprus problem.

UN Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer said that the form of the upcoming talks will be shaped next week, noting that it was not only the content of the talks that were important but also the procedure.

During his meeting with Venizelos, there were discussions regarding the progress made recently in preparations for the re-starting of the Cyprus negotiations. One item in particular was President Anastasiades’ proposal, which had been accepted, that there be separate meetings of the representatives of the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministries with the negotiators of the two communities in Cyprus.

Venizelos reiterated Greece’s support for the Secretary-General’s mission of good offices and Downer’s efforts, adding that Greece welcomes the proposals for confidence building measures (the return of Maras to the Greek Cypriots), tabled by President Anastasiades last week, on the basis of which a new dynamic for a solution can be created.

The Greek Vice President said that the Cyprus issue is primarily a matter of respect of principles and international law regulations and for this reason, its solution should be in line with UN Security Council resolutions, the acquis communautaire and the will of the people of Cyprus which will be expressed through a resolution

“Our discussion was very useful and constructive,” Downer said, adding that he expects to release a timetable for the resumption of stalled talks next week.

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