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Today's meeting between President Christofias and TC leader Dervis Eroglu: Some progress but still difficulties ahead
2011-10-21 10:26:00

There has been progress in several of the core issues, and that is encouraging but there are still difficulties to be resolved on the core issues, according to UN General Secretary’s Special Adviser on the Cyprus issue, Mr. Alexander Downer.

In statements he made to the press after the last meeting of the two leaders in the intensified phase of UN led talks, Mr. Downer commented that today's meeting was much more productive than Wednesday's, adding that the two leaders "focused on the questions of the Executive and Citizenship."

However, as he noted, "there is still some way to go and the Secretary General will look forward to meeting them in just over a week`s time and he will be able to examine the differences that still exist on some of these issues with the leaders and try to explore with them how the leaders believe they can resolve those differences."

“We are looking forward to this meeting, it is going to be an important meeting and the Secretary General, I know, wants to be hopeful”, he added.

Mr. Downer also mentioned that he had “a discussion about the meeting with the two leaders and explained to them the thinking we currently have”, adding that “of course I will have to talk all this over with the Secretary General and I will be giving him a briefing next Saturday afternoon and from there obviously he will make decisions about how precisely he wants to handle the meeting”.

Asked about any potential suggestions he is liable to make to the Secretary General, henoted that his job "is to make sure that I brief him first”, adding that he will go over with the Secretary General the progress that has been achieved since July 7th, the difficulties that still remain and why these difficulties are still there, as well as what the two leaders can do to resolve those difficulties.

 “Obviously where there are difficulties at some point they have to be resolved”, he said.

Mr. Downer pointed out  that in all peace processes there are difficulties encountered and that a lot of patience is required and in the end compromise. "Compromise", he added, "doesn’t always come very fast."

“We look forward to the meeting and we hope it will make a constructive contribution to the future of Cyprus”, he stressed.

Asked whether enough progress had been achieved since the last meeting the two leaders had with the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Downer noted that "there has been progress in several of the core issues, and that is encouraging”, adding, however, that “there are still difficulties to be resolved on the core issues”.

“The Secretary General obviously wants to hear about what those difficulties are and to hear from the leaders what ideas they have for overcoming those difficulties”, he pointed out.

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