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UN working on ideas to move Cyprus process forward (update: UNFICYP mandate renewed)

By George Psyllides

The United Nations is working on ideas to move the stalled reunification talks forward, a senior official said on Wednesday.

UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim said the organisation was trying to help prepare the way forward based on agreement between the two sides.

“We are working on that. We have some ideas and of course we meet with both sides,” she said after a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades.

“We will be sharing our thoughts.”

Talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots broke for the summer last week but the two sides failed to agree on almost anything.

They were unable to reach agreement on the convergences achieved so far, on the methodology to be followed in the next phase of the talks and on a single, big or small, confidence-building measure.

Buttenheim could not say when the negotiations would move to the next stage.

“I don’t have a date, I can’t predict, but we obviously would like it to be when the time is ready and I think both leaders would like to see that moment come.”

The UN official said she was preparing the next meeting between Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on September 2.

She added that “the point is that they have to agree so we hope that the meeting on September 2 will be a good meeting and on August 26 we will have the next meeting between the negotiators Mr Mavroyiannis and Mr Ozersay and we will be in touch with them.”

She and Anastasiades also discussed the fact that later on Wednesday UNFICYP’s mandate will be adopted by the UN Security Council, in New York.

“If you read that, they also are commending the two leaders for the joint declaration that they adopted (in February). I think this is extremely important to bear in mind because this is an agreement that has been reached between the two leaders”.

Later on Wednesda, the UN Security Council renewed the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a further six months, until 31 January 2015.
Sources told the Cyprus News Agency that the resolution was positive for Cyprus and that the original British draft was significantly improved during deliberations over the past few days among permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council.


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