President’s envoy continues contacts at UN headquarters
New York, May 19 -- The Director of the President of the Republic’s Diplomatic Office, Ambassador Tasos Tzionis, sent by President Papadopoulos to the UN for exploratory talks on a possible resumption of the Cyprus peace talks, continued his contacts today at UN headquarters with another meeting with the UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast.
UN Associate Spokesman for the Secretary-General, Stephan Dujarric, told reporters yesterday that “preliminary substantive discussions had taken place on Tuesday and were to continue on Wednesday”. Asked whether the UN Secretary-General might send Mr Prendergast to Cyprus as a mediator, the Spokesman said that such a thing was likely, but there was no announcement to be made as yet.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan has announced with ''real regret'' the retirement of Sir Kieran Prendergast, who will leave the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) at the end of June, but will remain on staff until the end of the year.
In Nicosia, Foreign Minister George Iacovou said: “The aim of the deliberations in New York is the resumption of negotiations in an effective process”. He added that the effort is focused on defining the negotiating framework and the negotiating methodology. “This is what we are trying to do at this moment” he also said.
Replying to a relevant question Mr Iacovou said that the deliberations will take place in at least two places, in New York and in Nicosia.“ Mr Prendergast will visit both Ankara and Athens, and while he is here he will also have discussions with Mr Talat. Consequently, this is a multifaceted procedure”, he added.