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Downer in CyProb talks with Turkish Foreign Minister

30 April 2013

Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, stressed Turkey’s continuous support for resolution on the Cyprus problem in a closed meeting with UN Special Advisor on Cyprus, Alexander Downer. He said that there was an urgent need to address the TRNC’s call for talks on the issue to restart, promptly.

The Foreign Minister and Downer, exchanged views on the political process in Cyprus and on negotiations between both sides of the island.

Downer also reported to Davutoglu on his latest discussions on the problem that took place with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides and in mainland Greece.

Downer and the Foreign Minister discussed the letters that Davutoglu had sent to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany and Greece- the other guarantor state for Cyprus; demanding a new initiative on Cyprus. Davutoglu also clarified Turkey’s stance over the issue of exploiting gas reserves found off the south coast of Cyprus. Turkey wants to see the full rights of the TRNC respected in this regard.

Downer will also travel to Athens for talks and then return to Cyprus, once again, after concluding talks with Turkish officials.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister, Besir Atalay was visiting Cyprus yesterday; meeting with TRNC Prime Minister, Irsen Kucuk.

In a recent interview on BBC television, the South Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides was emphatic that talks could not begin before October. He reminded the interviewer that currently the South had its hands full with its economic crisis. He also resented Turkey pressuring the South to restart talks while his country was swamped with financial problems.

Peace talks have been stalled since January 2012 due to postponements by South Cyprus for various reasons, the first of which was said to be the Greek Cypriot  EU presidency term in June 2012, and after that, the preparations for presidential elections in South Cyprus which were held last month.

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