British envoy: some progress made, much more needed
Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA) -- Britain's special representative for Cyprus Lord
David Hannay believes that some progress has been achieved in the UN-led
peace talks, which began in mid January, but a lot needs to be done if the
Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides are to reach an agreement.
In a written statement, issued on the occasion of his visit here, Hannay said the core issues need to be addressed in a spirit of give and take and added that Britain encourages the two leaders to find a settlement that will enable Cyprus, reunited, to be invited in December to join the European Union.| "We are now at a pivotal phase in the face to face negotiations which began on 16 January. Some progress has been made; but much more remains to be done; and time is relatively short," Hannay said in his statement. He also said that "a maximum effort is going to be needed in the next few weeks. All core issues will need to be addressed and gaps bridged in a spirit of give and take if agreement is to be reached." Hannay described his visit here "useful and informative" and said he had had "full discussions with the two leaders and also informal contacts with leading members of their negotiating teams." President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash have been engaged in direct talks, under UN auspices, since January with a view at finding a comprehensive settlement. No concrete outcome has emerged so far from these talks and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called on the two sides during his May visit here to work for an agreement on the four core issues (governance, security, territory and property). In his statement Hannay said the British government is following the negotiations "closely and actively." "But we are not at the negotiating table and have no agenda of our own," he added. Britain, he said, will continue to give support to the UN's efforts and to encourage the two leaders to reach an agreement which will enable a reunited Cyprus to be welcomed into the EU when decisions are taken at Copenhagen in December. Hannay, who came here after a visit to Turkey, leaves later today.