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Alexander Downer: Hydrocarbon controversy should not affect direct talks
2011-09-28 09:26:55

The UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, stated at the conclusion of yesterday's meeting between the two leaders, that differences regarding drilling for hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) must not affect the ongoing direct talks. Mr. Downer added that the hydrocarbon issue was not discussed at yesterday's talks.

Mr. Downer also mentioned, to that effect, that when an overall agreement is reached, issues regarding the natural resources of Cyprus will be handled by the federal government, adding that this is an additional incentive for a settlement.

He went on to say that the UN could play the role of a mediator regarding the hydrocarbon issue, should the two sides request such a role, clarifying that so far the two sides have not asked the UN to become involved in that capacity.

The issues discussed at yesterday's meeting pertained mostly to EU matters, while next meeting's agenda will focus on security issues.

The UN envoy added that as of next week, the talks will enter a new phase which will last until October 24, leading up to the scheduled meeting with the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.

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