Technical Committees and Working Groups Begin Work Tuesday
Nicosia, Apr 21 – Bicommunal committees, set up as part of an agreement to help resume substantive negotiations on Cyprus, will meet on Tuesday and Thursday this week, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou announced in Nicosia today.
He said Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou will act as coordinator for the seven technical committees and the six working groups the Greek Cypriot community has set up to discuss, with their Turkish Cypriot counterparts, day to day concerns and substantive issues.
The Spokesman clarified that President of the Republic Demetris Christofias will have overall responsibility on the part of the Greek Cypriot side.
Ozdil Nami, adviser to Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, will be in charge of the Turkish Cypriot teams, he noted.
The Spokesman said that the composition of the working groups and that of the technical committees was well received and added that “we need to concentrate on the work that needs to be done, which is important, hard and demanding.”
The members of the committees and groups, he added, are “distinguished individuals, technocrats and experts, people who have dealt with the issues at hand and are ready to begin work.” The government, Mr. Stephanou added, “focuses on this and work actually starts tomorrow.” According to the Government Spokesman, the UN will not put forward issues on the table. “It is the work of the two communities, and we have our positions, our own data, we are going to these discussions fully prepared,” he added. The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed March 21st to instruct their aides to set up technical committees and working groups to deal with various aspects concerning the Cyprus problem. Seven technical committees and six working groups have been set up comprising of 150 Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The purpose is to begin work in order to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations between the leaders. On March 21st, the two leaders agreed also to meet again in three months to review the work of the working groups and technical committees, the results of which will be used to start negotiations under UN auspices for a solution.