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Christofias 'Not Satisfied' With Greentree Meeting

christofias cyprus talksPresident Demetris Christofias said he was not satisfied with peace talks between himself, Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and UN Secretary-general Ban ki-Moon on January 23rd and 24th, and that the Turkish side has not responded to a commitment to establish a committee to discuss the land and property issue.

"We discussed various issues and there was no consensus. And both sides maintain their positions," said Christofias in comments to the media in New York.

There are still questions about the Turkish-Cypriot side's intentions as far as property issues are concerned: "will 100,000 people, refugees, be given the possibility to return (to their land) under Greek-Cypriot administration and have full ownership of their properties?" asks Christofias. Which areas will stay under Turkish-Cypriot administration is another question, he said, adding that the Greek-Cypriot side is willing to comply with Ban ki-Moon's 15-day deadline to exchange data on the property issue.

Commenting on Ban ki-Moon's proposal to call a multilateral conference in April or May, Christofias said that he made it clear that a timetable for such an international conference is not acceptable. A conference with Cyprus' guarantors Turkey, Greece and Britain would only be held if there were a breakthrough in talks and signficant progress.

Christofias said he will continue the negotiations even during Cyprus' EU presidency, but that he does not expect a breakthrough unless Turkey - which has occupation troops in Cyprus and in effect supports a two-state solution - changes its stance.

Direct talks between the Greek-and-Turkish Cypriot community have been going on for three years and although there has been progress in many chapters, the stumbling blocks of property, governance and citizenship of thousands of Turkish settlers are seemingly preventing any final deal.

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