Government unaware of new UN policy on Cyprus problem
Nicosia, Jan 11 - The Cyprus government is not aware of any change of policy on behalf of the United Nations regarding the Cyprus question, Minister of Foreign Affairs Yiorgos Lillikas has said.
He was referring to a statement on Wednesday by US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack that the “UN have taken another look at the Cyprus issue and they may consider what it is that they might do''.
The Foreign Minister also said: “Officially, we have the agreement of the 8th of July. Our efforts now focus on achieving the necessary progress so that working groups and technical committees will be established in order to begin discussions, aiming to prepare the ground for a new initiative for a comprehensive settlement.”
He added that, parallel to that, there should be a discussion on day to day issues, as agreed on July 8th.
Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat had agreed, during a meeting in the presence of UN Undersecretary General for political affairs Ibrahim Gambari, to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.
“This is the official UN policy, we are committed to that agreement and we will continue working with good will and with a cooperative spirit”, he said.
He also expressed hope that “the Turkish Cypriot side will show the same good will as the Greek Cypriot side so that soon we will have the necessary results.”
Asked about efforts by the German EU Presidency regarding the European Commission’s regulation for direct trade with the Turkish Cypriot community, Mr. Lillikas expressed the readiness of the Government of Cyprus to resume negotiations on the issue which begun during the previous EU Presidency.
“I hope that very soon we will have a mutually agreed regulation for trade with the area of the Republic of Cyprus that is not under the effective control of the government. We are in consultations with the German Government. The first meetings will take place on a technical level next week”, he added.