President Demetris Christofias, taking under consideration the discussion at the National Council, goes to the 7th of July meeting, in Geneva, with the UN Secretary General prepared, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has stated.

Speaking after Tuesdays meeting of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President of the Republic on the Cyprus issue, the Spokesman said that the main issue of the meeting was the course of the direct negotiation process, prior to the July meeting.

The President of the Republic briefed extensively Council members on the course of the ongoing UN-led negotiations. He referred to issues that concern the meeting as such, the political parties tabled their views, a discussion followed and the President of the Republic, taking into consideration the discussion that has taken place, will go prepared to the 7th of July meeting, he said.

Asked if the government shares the view of a political party that the direct talks have collapsed, Stephanou replied: Absolutely not. This is a very extreme position. The negotiations continue.

Asked if todays Council meeting was marked by disagreements, Stephanou said that there are agreements and disagreements at the National Council. Some issues and some views were raised and I reiterated that through the discussion and taking into consideration several issues, the President will go to the Geneva meeting, he said.

Asked why there was no joint statement after the meeting, Stephanou said that issuing such a statement was not a matter raised during the meeting.

The National Council comprises the leaders and representatives of the parliamentary parties, former Presidents of the Republic, while the Foreign Minister, Government Spokesman, Undersecretary to the President and members of the negotiating team participate in the meeting.

The two communities began UN-backed direct negotiations in September 2008 aiming at reaching a mutually agreed solution to the Cyprus problem. Christofias and Eroglu will meet again on Thursday. They will also have a meeting with UN Secretary General on the 7th of July in Geneva.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


British Minister for Europe David Lidington has expressed hope that the July 7th meeting between the UN Secretary-General and the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus will not be a mere stock-taking but it will galvanize the leaders to tackle the difficult issues standing in the way of a settlement.

Speaking at a press conference on completion of his visit to Cyprus, Lidington said his country supports the Cypriot-owned talks, pointing out however that one cannot take it for granted that the UN will keep the Cyprus problem in their priorities, if there is little sign of progress being made. In his remarks the British Minister said that he is visiting Cyprus “to get a clearer understanding first hand about the situation here but also to listen to the perspectives of Cypriot leaders for both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities about how they see the way forward.“

Outlining the British government`s approach on Cyprus, Lidington said “we believe there is a moment of opportunity now available following the parliamentary elections both here in Cyprus and in Turkey.“

“And we hope that the meeting of the 7th of July with SG Bank Ki-moon in Geneva will galvanize the leaderships of the communities here in Cyprus to look anew on how to find a way forward to tackle the outstanding difficulties that stand in the way of a settlement,“ he pointed out.

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