The two – day meeting on the Cyprus issue between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, President of the Republic Demetris , Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and their aides was concluded Monday in New York, at the Greentree mansion, in Long Island.
The leaders are expected to meet again with the UNSG at the same place in January. In the meantime, the UN – led Cyprus negotiations will continue between the two leaders and their aides in Nicosia, with more shuttle diplomacy and proximity talks.
Ban Ki – moon is expected to make a statement later today in the presence of the two leaders, in which he will urge them to continue their work in an effort to achieve convergences and meet with him again in January.
According to UN sources, the UNSG and his aides believe that the proximity talks, which took place in Greentree, were helpful, despite the fact that no convergences were achieved.
The UN believes that real progress could be achieved when direct talks continue alongside with proximity talks and shuttle diplomacy on behalf not only of the UN, the EU, the US and other UNSC permanent members.
According to a Greek Cypriot source, the draft statement which the UNSG is expected to make later today gives “a more positive impression of the situation”. The same source said that no convergences were found during the two day meeting due to the stance of the Turkish Cypriot side.
Monday, which was the last day of the meeting, began with separate meetings between the UN officials and the negotiating teams covering four core issues of the Cyprus talks – governance, territory, properties and citizenship. In the afternoon, the UNSG held two separate meetings with the leaders and their negotiating teams, followed by a joint meeting.
This was the fourth meeting of the leaders with the UNSG. The first took place in November 2010, followed by two more meetings held in Geneva on January 26 and July 7, 2011, during which both sides reaffirmed their commitment to finding a comprehensive solution as soon as possible, while in Geneva, on 26 January 2011, the sides agreed to intensify the negotiations.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Since 1974 Turkey occupies 37% of Cyprus` territory in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, European Parliament decisions and resolutions, European Council decisions and other resolutions of international fora, which condemn the Turkish invasion and occupation. Ankara has proclaimed a so called `state` in the occupied areas of Cyprus, which the UN have called illegal and asked the international community not to recognize it. The illegal state is only recognised by Ankara.
UN – led negotiations have been underway since 2008 between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus with an aim to reunify the island under a federal roof.