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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ ‘A palpable sense of momentum’ ]

‘A palpable sense of momentum’

U.N. UNDER-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe said yesterday there was a palpable sense of momentum in Cyprus that he would transmit back to the Secretary-General.

Pascoe held a news conference at the Ledra Palace before his departure yesterday. He described his visit as good, saying he was encouraged.

He arrived on the island last Sunday to gauge the new climate and take the pulse for possible new negotiations following a meeting of the two leaders on March 21.

“There is a very positive tone here in Cyprus at the moment, and a palpable sense of momentum,” Pascoe said.

“The two leaders have set their sights on achieving a fair and lasting solution, and I think Cypriots are right to have high expectations. I’m encouraged and I will pass this on to the Secretary-General when I talk with him,” he added.

The UN has been waiting for confirmation of genuine good will in Cyprus before attempting to move forward with any new negotiations.

Since they met on March 21, President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed the opening of Ledra Street, and started moving on establishing working groups and technical committees to lay the groundwork for new talks.

“The Secretary-General asked me to come here primarily to see how the UN can best be helpful to the process agreed by the leaders on March 21 and we have been for the last two and a half days discussing this with many, many people.” Pascoe said.

“I also wanted to get a sense of how the people of Cyprus see their future together, and again I was very encouraged by what I heard.”

Pascoe said he would be returning to New York after more contacts in the coming weeks in Athens, Ankara and European capitals. He would then report to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“My message will be a positive and a hopeful one. It will also be practical,” said Pascoe.

He warned there would be hard work ahead in the coming three months after which new talks are slated to take place.

“It is our expectation and sincere hope that this period in the next three months will take us towards full-fledged negotiations on a settlement, the UN envoy added.

“We all know that achieving a solution will not be easy. There are many issues that have been around, as you all know, for many years. There have been many discussions on it; some have been productive, some have led nowhere. But we will work on it. These are, of course, something that the leadership of the two sides must achieve, and they must be supported by their people. It will require a lot of hard work and compromise, but I am confident in the end the two sides, with our help, can succeed.”

Pascoe said the trick was to close the gaps and find the appropriate trade-offs to come up with a package that would be acceptable to the people on both sides.

He had no news on the appointment of a new Cyprus envoy, saying for the moment the two sides had made it clear they wanted to spend the first three months developing the discussions through the committees and working groups.

Pascoe met separately with both leaders before his news conference yesterday morning. His visit was viewed positively by both sides.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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