Cyprus Problem | Alexander Downer the UN’s Special Adviser covers all options?

Well we do not usually have such a distinguished man stating the obvious, but Mr. Downer has done just that.   According to him the talks at Greentree will either be a success or a failure.  Mr Alexander Downer, UN’s Special Adviser, must surely be nominated for an award for this diplomatic quote.

I really do not want to rain on your parade Mr. Downer, but past performances sort of point to …failure. How much longer are these meetings going to go on?  Does he really believe there is any chance there will ever be agreement between the two sides?

“The talks at Greentree in New York this month between the two leaders and UN chief will either be a success or failure, said UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer yesterday, excluding the middle ground assessment that has dominated previous tripartite meetings.

In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Downer said the goal is to get a “good result” on three pending issues: governance, property and citizenship.

Ahead of the January 22-24 New York meeting between President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, Downer repeated the view that an agreement was possible with the necessary “political will”.

“The Greentree meeting will either be a success or a failure,” said the Australian native.

If an outline agreement can be found on the remaining core issues then many of the other details can be sorted out later, he said.

“There are basically three core issues that the leaders must resolve: first, the method of electing a rotating president and vice-president; second, a way of settling the granting of citizenship, and third, the property issue which cannot be solved until there is agreement on territory,” said Downer.

The UN diplomat said the peace process could be successful but if it transpires that the divergences are too big to narrow the gap, then there is little the UN can do about it.

Asked about the intentions of the leaders in the talks, the special adviser said it would be “unfair” to say that either one or the other did not want to reach an agreement. He suggested, however, that reaching an agreement required an understanding that you can’t get everything you ask for.

Downer described the Cyprus problem as “the most difficult issue” he’s had to contend with.”


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