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Differences on Core Issues Ahead of Unity Talks With UNSG

peace talks cyprusCyprus leaders Demetris Christofias and Dervis Eroglu still have significant differences on the core issues of governance, power-sharing, property and security and will travel to meet UN Secretary-general Ban ki-Moon to discuss these problems, said UN Special Representative Alexander Downer.

On October 21st, the leaders had their last meeting in an intensified phase of talks in which they tried to reach agreements on the most difficult issues.

"There is still some way to go and the Secretary General will look forward to meeting them in a week ...He will be able to examine the differences that still exist on some of these issues with the leaders and try to explore with them how the leaders believe they can resolve those differences," said Downer.

Fresh unity talks with Ban ki-Moon are set for October 30th and 31st in New York and will be the third trilateral meeting this year following ones in January and July.

The current round of UN-led peace talks started in 2008 between Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat, who was replaced by Eroglu after elections in the Turkish-Cypriot community. The main principle is that it will be a Cypriot solution negotiated by Cypriots. Once talks are wrapped up, a reunification plan will be presented to Ban ki-Moon, a process which will be followed by separate referenda in both communities.

The leaders' differences are bound to disappoint Ban ki-Moon who said during the last meeting on July 7th that he had "every expectation that...the leaders will be able to report that they have reached convergence on all core issues."

By October, Cyprus negotiations would have been close to their conclusion and would allow Ban Ki-moon to give a positive report to the Security Council on the matter, he said.

"It would also pave the way for me to work with the parties towards convening a final, international conference," said Ban Ki-moon.

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