THE UN wants the two sides to adopt a game plan to resolve outstanding issues in peace talks this year and is hoping for a deal by mid 2012, envoy Alexander Downer told Reuters in an interview yesterday.

“We don’t have a deadline as such, but obviously everybody is working to try to get the agreement done before Cyprus takes over the [June 2012] presidency of the EU,” said Downer.

That position had been adopted by a number of EU leaders and President Demetris Christofias, he said.

Referring to the tripartite meeting on July 4, Downer said: “We will want this meeting to be a meeting that really helps to drive the process forward towards the end of the year, for the rest of the year. We want it to be a bit more than a routine stock taking.”

Downer said he had been discussing ideas for what he described as an “action plan” with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders before meeting Ban.

“I think they are quite responsive to those ideas…our ideal would be for the two leaders to go to the meeting with an agreed approach,” Downer said. “I’m hoping for an action plan to be agreed.”

“They obviously haven’t agreed on everything (in negotiations) so the question is how we are going to encourage them to agree on all of the outstanding issues from now on.”

Cyprus assumes the EU presidency in June 2012 and holds its own domestic presidential elections in February 2013. It is unclear whether Christofias will seek re-election.

“If they haven’t pretty much done it by the time you get to the lead-up to Cyprus’s presidency then it’s hard to believe during Cyprus’s presidency or the presidential elections you are going to be making great strides forward in these negotiations,” Downer said.

“It stands to reason that it would be for the best to try to get everything signed and sealed – not delivered – but signed and sealed before then

Source: Cyprus Mail

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