Talks Fate in Hands of Leaders - UN
The fate of current reunification talks between the Greek-and-Turkish Cypriot communities is in the hands of the leaders, said UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer following yesterday's meeting between President Demetris Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.
"At the end of the day the fate of these talks lies with the two leaders and their capacity to negotiate their way through the different positions that each has," said Downer.
Commenting on the upcoming meeting in New York with Ban Ki Moon and Cyprus leaders, Downer said that there was a good discussion about the gathering at the United Nations and that it would be an 'important day in the process'.
"We, of course, don’t know what the conclusions are going to be; we are not pre-cooking anything here. We’ll just see how it all goes," said Downer, adding that "obviously we hope that the meeting with the Secretary-General will help inject still some more momentum into the process."
Downer did not comment on speculation from the Financial Times that if talks ended in failure then the UN would contemplate pulling out of Cyprus, saying only that he would not be a running commentator on what is in the media.
"Obviously we’re working very hard to ensure that the meeting is a successful meeting," he added.
The Secretary-General wants to know how the talks are going, said Downer.
"He obviously hears from me and my team here, but he wants to hear face-to-face with the leaders their perspective of how the talks are going and what the prospects are," said Downer.
Downer added that the UN hopes to inject a sense of enthusiasm and optimism into the peace process.
"It’s important to do that. We, all of us in the United Nations, want to believe that the process can succeed; that the leaders can find a way through the differences that they have, and the Secretary-General will be enthusiastic about hearing their pathway forward," he said.
Whatever happens in the meeting on the 18th of November will also inform the UN's progress report on the peace talks, said Downer.
In his comments after the meeting with Eroglu, Christofias said that the purpose of the New York meeting is to "break the deadlock and lead to an overall solution."
There is no chance that he will be pressured, he added, saying that the UN has promised that there will be no changes in their position on the Cyprus property issue, and that there will be no arbitration or an international summit on the meeting's agenda.