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“Nothing’s Changed,” Christofias Says After Meeting With Eroglu

President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said that nothing has changed in the meeting he held Monday with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, in the context of UN -led peace talks for a political settlement in Cyprus.
In statements to the press, on his return to the Presidential Palace after the meeting, Christofias said that they discussed procedural issues ahead of the meeting at Greentree Estate in New York with UN Secretary General at the end of the month.
“Significant differences on governance, property and territory as well as details of other issues that may prove significant are still pending,” he said.
He once again raised questions about the meaning of the new meeting at Greentree as well as the process to be followed in case no convergence is achieved in the next two weeks.
President Christofias also stressed that he made it clear to his interlocutors that the Greek – Cypriot side can not be forced to change its positions and underlined that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu should return to the positions previously agreed during the direct talks, which he changed.
Representatives of the two leaders will meet during the next two weeks to discuss the issues of governance, property and territory with the Secretary’s General Special Advisor on the Cyprus issue Alexander Downer.
The National Council will also convey on Monday January 16, in the afternoon to be a fully briefed about the process.
The President also said that the Greek Cypriot side will through these processes evaluate the situation.
Asked whether there will be another meeting between the leaders before the meeting in Greentree, President Christofias said that they didn’t say anything for a new meeting of the leaders but if there is a reason to hold a new meeting he will gladly participate.
Asked about the letter the UN Secretary General has sent two the two leaders, Christofias explained that in his letter the UN Secretary General reiterated that he considered that the talks were entering a final stage and referred to July is a milestone, clarifying at the same time that the SG did not set a timetable until July.
He also said that the SG reiterated that both sides should agree on the internal aspects of the talks, before the convergence of an international conference for the Cyprus problem.
“He notes that there is a deadlock on these issues and invited the two leaders to work intensively in the remaining time to break this deadlock,“ he said.
Pointing out that in every negotiation there are risks, he said “we are here to identify potential risks and to deal with them”.
Noting that “we can not refuse invitations from SG“, President Christofias assured the Cypriot people that “we can not, we must not and we will not move from our positions of principle”
Asked about his answer to the letter of the UN SG, he said that he will no just thank the SG for the invitation at the Greentree, but he will also make comments about the process.
President Christofias and Eroglu are set to have talks with the SG on 23-24 January in New York. This will be their third meeting with Ban, who has warned that the Cyprus talks cannot go on the way they are being conducted at present.
(source: cna)

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