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President Christofias and T/C Leader to Meet 1st of July
2008-06-26 08:52:30

Nicosia, June 20 -- The 1st of July is the date when President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot Leader Mehmet Ali Talat will once again meet in the framework of the ongoing procedure launched under the auspices of the UN aiming at reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

The date was announced today by the Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou and Ozdil Nami, aide to the Turkish Cypriot leader, during a joint press conference held at Ledra Palas in Nicosia, in the presence of the UN Secretary General's Special Representative, Mr. Tay-Brook Zerihoun.

As they both stressed out, the meeting of the two leaders which was expected to take place by the end of June will eventually be held on July 1.

Both expressed hope that another meeting between the two leaders would follow very soon.

Iacovou clarified that despite the fact the meeting is taking place in July, “that doesn’t mean we‘ll need to go into August for a second meeting. I think it will still be held in July”, he pointed out.

Referring to the 21 March Agreement, Mr. Nami said that after three months of work by the committees “we, as the Turkish Cypriot side, don’t expect much delay and we look forward for the onset of the full fledged negotiations between the two leaders”, he noted.

During the joint press conference Mr. Iacovou and Mr. Nami announced a package of 6 agreements that have been achieved in a number of technical committees, which include an agreement on Educational programs in Connection with Cultural Heritage (Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage), an agreement on Road Safety (Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal Matters), two agreements in the technical committee on Health concerning the Crossing from and to the Turkish occupied areas of Ambulances in Emergency Cases and on Cyprus Joint Committee on Health and lastly, two agreements in technical committees on Environment concerning the Cooperation for an island-wide assessment of all major Waste Stream Qualitatively and Quantitatively (Baseline Study) and on Environmental Education.

UN Official, Tay-Brook Zerihoun said these measures will help ease the daily life of Cypriots on the island, adding that there are other measures in the pipeline on which the two sides are close to agreement.

“We believe those additional measures could be announced in the coming days”, he noted, adding that ''the momentum of the process has not slowed. In fact it’s producing tangible results''.

''The Technical Committees and Working Groups have been meeting since late April and I am told they have so far over 180 meetings. Some of the Committees and Working Groups have made more progress than others but what is important here is that the process remains engaged and on track'' Mr. Zerihoun said.

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 was 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.

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