Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nicos Emiliou and UN Under-Secretary-General Lynn Pascoe discussed the course of negotiations on the Cyprus problem, in view of the meeting to take place in Geneva between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

Diplomatic sources said Emiliou expressed the concerns of the Cypriot government because the positions expressed by the Turkish side cannot be described as constructive and are not in line with the agreed basis for a Cyprus settlement and this limits possibilities to achieve substantive progress.

According to the same sources, Pascoe said it is time to intensify the process and for the negotiations to move from secondary to core issues. The UN official noted that there needs to be a substantive give-and-take to show if the sides can reach a settlement soon. This seems to be the goal of the meeting between Ban, Christofias and Eroglu, where Ban would like to set up an action plan.

UN Secretariat sources assured that the UN will not impose their plan on the two sides but will encourage them to go there with their own plans that will not include maximalistic positions. The UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer has been given instructions to prepare the Geneva meeting and discuss with the two sides what the action plan should include.

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