President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has pointed out to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon the difficulties in the negotiating process to solve the Cyprus problem, due to the withdrawal of the Turkish side from points that had been agreed on by former leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat.
Speaking after a meeting at UN headquarters in New York with the UN Secretary General, President Christofias said his assessment of the course of the talks was not the best and noted that he would be raising the issue during his address at the UN General Assembly.
President Christofias said there was still hope that “some sides will change their stance and there will be more convergences“ before the meeting of the leaders of the two communities with the UN Secretary General in late October.
He pointed out that convergences so far were on issues of secondary importance, and that there were serious divergences, adding that the UN chief indicated a willingness to intervene in the direction of correcting certain attitudes, if possible.
President Christofias said he raised the Turkish threats concerning Cyprus` explorations for hydrocarbons in its exclusive economic zone, noting that the UN chief promised to talk with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The position of the Republic of Cyprus is clear. We will continue. It is the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to explore and hopefully hydrocarbons will be found. Our Turkish Cypriot compatriots have nothing to lose, indeed they have much to gain, and this must be understood by Turkey and Mr. Eroglu,“ the President said.
Commenting on Monday’s meeting between Ban and Christofias, the UN stated that the Secretary General encouraged President Christofias to continue the efforts to increase convergences on all chapters under negotiation and reiterated his expectation that the sides will move the process forward during the current intensified phase of discussions, prior to his next meeting with both leaders at the end of October.
President Christofias wrapped up his schedule on Monday with a dinner hosted by the Cyprus Federation of America.
On Tuesday, he will meet the editorial committee of Wall Street Journal, participate in a high level meeting on Libya which has been convened by the UN chief, meet Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov and attend a dinner hosted by Archbishop of America Demetrios.