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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Both sides cautious before Tuesday’s meeting ]

Both sides cautious before Tuesday’s meeting

BOTH SIDES are being cautious ahead of Tuesday’s meeting between the two leaders, neither raising expectations nor dampening hopes of overcoming current obstacles.

Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou and Ozdil Nami, the advisor to Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, have been holding regular meetings to try and smooth the way for Tuesday’s meeting.

The talks’ process ran into difficulties over different interpretations of what the basis for a resumption of negotiations would be.

The situation was exacerbated when the Turkish Cypriot side was angered over a memorandum of understanding signed between London and Nicosia, which used terminology Talat said undermined his joint statements with Christofias.

While Iacovou and Nami have been trying to find a formula, they will not be meeting tomorrow ahead of the Tuesday meeting, Iacovou said yesterday.

“After a general conversation I had with Mr Nami in Oslo, this week, we believe that we must not raise expectations or encourage concerns by having an additional meeting,” Iacovou told the Cyprus News Agency yesterday.

While attending a mediators conference in Oslo, Iacovou and Nami held a working breakfast with former UN Special Representative for Cyprus Michael Moller, Peruvian diplomat Alvaro de Soto, who mediated the failed Annan plan in 2004, and two other former UN envoys for Cyprus, Joe Clark and Sir Kieran Prendergast.

Iacovou described his encounter with Nami in Oslo as informal, and had taken place on the sidelines of the mediators’ conference to which they had both been invited.

Asked whether Christofias and Talat were likely to issue a new joint statement on Tuesday, Iacovou said it might not be appropriate if the issues under discussion continued to be fluid.

“There are other methods apart from a joint communiqué,” he said.

“In any case, the decision on this issue rests with the two leaders at Tuesday’s meeting. They may discuss some issues in depth and leave the rest for their next meeting or they might evaluate progress in the discussions at the Technical Committees and the Working Groups and continue at their next meeting.”

Talat and Christofias are expected to hold two meetings in July before the summer break. The plan is to talk about talks and have fully-fledged negotiations up and running by the autumn.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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