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CyprusCyprus Talks

Ban speaks by phone with Davutoglu

By Jean Christou

TURKISH Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has spoken over the phone with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the Cyprus issue, urging the international community to take a more decisive stance on the resumption of talks.

According to reports, the initiative was taken by Ban to call the Turkish foreign minister as the start of negotiations on Cyprus continue to stall over the wording of a joint statement. The Secretary General reportedly urged a resumption of talks as soon as possible, Turkish media said yesterday.

Davutoglu said Ankara’s approach to the issue was constructive, and that the international community should take a more decisive role.

On the Greek Cypriot side, deputy government spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos said the National Council would meet on Friday, first and foremost to be briefed on the agreement reached last week with Britain concerning land development in the bases.

Asked about the elusive joint statement Papadopoulos said yesterday it was the wish of the Greek Cypriot side to resume talks on the Cyprus problem “the earliest possible”.

He said President Nicos Anastasiades had the will to enter negotiations but wanted the conclusion of those talks to be safeguarded.

“It should not be a dialogue that leads nowhere and creates more problems for the Cypriot people than those we wish to address,” Papadopoulos said.

“The president has never stopped in his efforts to create the conditions that would allow us to enter into a dialogue where indeed the two sides will get involved with the (necessary) political will to resolve the Cyprus question and not to create the conditions for a probable future secession.”

Papadopoulos said talks were ongoing with UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer who last week met the chief negotiators on both sides.

However, tensions between Downer and the Greek Cypriot side rose recently after Anastasiades ‘insulted’ the envoy in an interview he gave, implying that the Australian diplomat was not objective. Annoyed, Downer avoided the president during his visit last week.

Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu was yesterday quoted as saying that the move to annoy Downer was a deliberate ploy on the part of the Greek Cypriot side.  In an attempt to be unbiased, Downer would now take an approach that favoured the Greek Cypriot side, he said.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was due in Brussels last night for talks on Turkey’s accession. Cyprus was expected to be on the agenda.

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