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Agreement on Reunifying Cyprus is Possible - UN

cyprus peace talksAn agreement on reunifying Cyprus is possible and within the grasp of the leaders, said UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer after the latest direct talks between Demetris Christofias and Dervis Eroglu.

Downer said he briefed the UN Security Council about progress in the intensive phase of reunification talks and that there was great interest from the council on the Cyprus issue.

"They are anxious that the two Leaders succeed in these negotiations and this is important, because this is the premier diplomatic body of the world – the United Nations Security Council. People shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the strong support of the Security Council for the successful conclusions of these negotiations.  I hope everybody understands that," said Downer.

The UNSC is focusing on other issues in the world like Libya, but there is a strong view that after 37 years, the Cyprus issue must finally be resolved through a successful reunification deal consistent with its resolutions, he said.

The issue of natural gas exploitation in Cyprus' territorial waters was also raised, he said, refusing to divulge details of the discussion.  Israel, Greece, Cyprus and Russia have taken a defensive position in the wake of Turkey's threats to send warships to the area if US company Noble Energy starts drilling in Block 12 at the beginning of October. Earlier this week, a Noble Energy spokesman said that the company is monitoring Turkey's threats and will not change its plans.

In yesterday's meeting (August 8th) the leaders discussed agreements on a series of issues in the property chapter and will move on to the questions of citizenship, immigration and aliens in the next meeting on September 12th.

Christofias and Eroglu are expected to present a reunification plan to UN Secretary-general Ban ki-Moon in October, which could then be followed by a summit of the island's guarantor powers and a referendum put to each community.

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