Cyprus President and Turkish-Cypriot leader meet to discuss implementation of July 8, 2006 Agreement
Nicosia, Sep 5 - The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat met today in the presence of the UN Secretary General's Special Representative to Cyprus Michael Moller to discuss initiating the implementation of the July 8, 2006 Agreement. Mr. Moller stated that President Papadopoulos and Mr. Talat “held their discussions in a constructive atmosphere.”
President Papadopoulos had written to Mr. Talat in early July of this year to invite him to meet, in order to move forward on the implementation of the July 8, 2006 Agreement, referred to as the Gambari process. The Agreement aims to begin a process involving bi-communal discussion of issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both of which will contribute to a comprehensive settlement.
In reply to press questions following the meeting, President Papadopoulos stated that he insisted on the Agreement’s speedy and unconditional implementation, since: “We believe it is a process than can positively push forward the talks for a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem on a new basis. And we believe that our suggestions would have shortened the time needed leading to substantive talks and to the solution of the Cyprus problem. We insisted a great deal that the Committees should seriously prepare the ground and, according to the Gambari process, if progress is achieved at the level of the Committees, the leaders of the two communities will meet periodically to negotiate the points of dissent which the Committees will point out.”
The President then added that: “Mr. Talat wanted changes to be made to the Gambari process. He wanted immediate talks without the work of the Committees or he wanted the role of the Committees to be restricted only to a technical level of noting down the topics to be discussed. This could not have accelerated the process but, on the contrary, it would accelerate finalizing the fact that there is a deadlock.”
The Government of the Republic of Cyprus is committed to the immediate implementation of the July 8 Agreement in its entirety, in order to create the conditions necessary for the commencement of negotiations, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, leading to a comprehensive settlement.