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Dramatic turnaround for Downer

14 December 2013

UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer has made a last ditch effort seal an agreement on the joint statement.

Last night, he returned to Nicosia from Larnaca airport.

Downer had planned to return in January 2014, saying that he hoped one day they would solve the problem.

However, on his way to the airport, returning to Australia for Christmas, he changed his mind and went back to the capital.

Some sources report that following a number of breaks through, and some intense effort to ensure continuation of talks, he decided to give it another 24 hours.

One source privy to the discussions saw the special advisor’s dramatic U-turn as a signal that a “serious development” had taken place and that Cyprus was very close to seeing the resumption of fully-fledged talks and that efforts were ongoing, said the source, adding that one way or another, today would be a “big day” in terms of the outcome.

Other reports say that it was a case of “wait and see”, however intense efforts to break the deadlock were continuing today.

It is reported that President Anastasiades called for an urgent meeting with party leaders at the Presidential Palace this morning.

One of the main blocks to a signed joint agreement was over the words ‘single sovereignty’ of a federal Cyprus, the Greek Cypriots insist on the inclusion of that phrase, while the Turkish Cypriots, so far reject the term.

Despite intense efforts throughout the week to overcome the deadlock, Downer had decided to wrap it up yesterday, at least for this year, until last night’s dramatic developments.

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