Downer Travels To Ankara To Discuss Cyprus Talks
NICOSIA - UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer is to travel to Ankara tomorrow to discuss progress on and differences of position in Cyprus reunification negotiations, he said in comments after today's face-to-face meeting between the leaders.
"I am going to meet with Foreign Minister Davutoglu. They have obviously just completed their elections, and so I think it’s both a good time for me to meet with him, and talk with him, and it’s a good time for the Turkish Government to meet with the United Nations to talk about the issue of Cyprus and the pace of the negotiations here, particularly in advance of the meeting in Geneva with the Secretary-General on the 7th of July," said Downer.
Discussions in Ankara will focus on "the specifics, the policy questions, the differences there are between the two sides, particularly on core issues, and the importance of those differences being bridged; and secondly, on the meeting that the Secretary-General is going to have with the two sides," he said.
For the time being he will not go to Athens as it is not a good time because of Greece's economic crisis: "I don’t want to inject myself too much into what’s going on in Greece, obviously, to make a nuisance of myself there. But obviously, it isn’t an appropriate time to go to Greece, yes, of course. I very much keep in touch with the Greek Government as I do with the Turkish Government," he said.
Today, President Demetris Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu spent just over an hour discussing governance and power-sharing and the treaty-making capacity of the federal government in a united Cyprus, said Downer.
"They have also exchanged views, including with me, on the meeting with the Secretary-General on the 7th of July. We’ve had, of course, individual discussions about that, but very useful discussions together about it," he said.
In comments after his meeting with Eroglu, Christofias said that he and former leader Mehmet Ali Talat had shared many points of view, but it is not so with the current Turkish-Cypriot leader. He said that Eroglu reacted against proposals from the Greek-Cypriot side on the issue of international treaties.
But the goal is still to close the chapter on how international treaties would work in a federal government, he said.
"The goal is to find a common language...and achieve results in Geneva," said Christofias.
The next leaders' meeting will be on June 21st at 10 a.m.