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Agreement Possible on Police, Treaties 'With Goodwill'

NICOSIA - An agreement could be reached on the chapters of police and international treaties with a little more goodwill and respect towards the conditions of a federation, said President Demetris Christofias speaking after today's meeting with Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in Nicosia.

The reunification talks today lasted just 30 minutes, during which the Turkish Cypriot leader submitted his comments and proposals on how internal security would work within a federal Cyprus. The negotiators are under pressure to bring some good news to the upcoming summit in Geneva with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, and according to Christofias, his latest meeting with Eroglu gave him reason to believe that with more respect towards the conditions of a federation, an agreement can be reached on internal security.

UN Special Representative Alexander Downer was similarly positive, saying that the meeting had a constructive atmosphere.
"From our point of view at the United Nations we were pleased with the meeting.  And this meeting particularly is focusing on preparing for the meeting with the Secretary-General on the 7th of July to ensure that that is a successful meeting."

There was also some discussion on governance and power-sharing issues, he said, and the leaders are set to meet again on June 30th.

Downer said that the leaders have a greater sense of urgency and intention to achieve more agreement in reunification talks: "I think the Leaders very much understand that it’s going to be better for them if they turn up in Geneva with more convergences, and they very much want to achieve some convergences on the core issues to report to the Secretary-General when they meet with him on the 7th.  So, they are working hard on that."

But it is unlikely there will be any agreement on property or territory issues before July 7th, he said.   

Negotiators are trying to untangle a Gordian Knot made up of historical and ethnic enmities; communal fears; legal issues caused by the Turkish invasion; communal separation and development along different lines; the fight over whether it will be a federation or a confederation; disagreements on a new constitution to reunify the island's main institutions, political parties and communities; disagreements on how to handle usurped property and opposition from extreme nationalists on both sides.


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