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President Christofias and Mr. Talat Will Try to Conclude Discussions on External Relations During Their Next Meeting on January 16th
2008-12-23 10:42:27

Nicosia, Dec 22 - The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus will try to conclude the discussions on the external relations, within the framework of the direct negotiations, during their next meeting on January 16, 2009, Cyprus’s President Demetris Christofias has said.

In statements Monday arriving at the Presidential Palace after his 13th meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, in the framework of the direct talks, President Christofias said that during the meeting the Greek Cypriot side gave answers to the positions put forward by the Turkish Cypriot side during their previous meeting on December 16th.

He also said that the UN rejected that Alexander Downer the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, had said that if no solution is achieved in 2009, the UN will end their efforts and the island will remain divided. “It has been an arbitrary interpretation of a Turkish newspaper’s journalist, which the UN have denied,” he added.

Replying to a question, President Christofias noted that according to the procedure of the direct talks, the one of the two leaders states his position on a specific subject, and at the next meeting, the second leader gives his answer to that. “Today, it has been our turn to give answers, and we have given them,” he said.

Asked whether during the meeting the Turkish Cypriot side gave explanations on public statements about the Annan Plan and the side that is violating the agreed framework and renege on agreed issues, President Christofias said that the two sides always give explanations, and that it is meaningless for the two leaders to continue their discussion through the media.

Regarding the issue of who has violated the agreed framework, President Christofias stressed that on the one hand, there is his position and on the other hand, there is Mr. Talat’s allegation. “Everybody, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can judge,” he said.

Replying to a question, the President pointed out that the main effort is the two leaders to conclude the discussions on the external relations at the next meeting on January the 16th, clarifying that “a lot of issues will remain, on which we will need to come back and discuss when we will have an overall picture.”

President Christofias also said in view of the Christmas and New Year’s feast a better and friendlier climate prevailed during the meeting. He finally said that he has already sent presents to Mr. Talat, the members of the Turkish Cypriot delegation, the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot political parties and the UN representatives at the talks.

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