Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus  Alexander Downer will be meeting the leaders of the island’s two communities in the coming days, following a long period of stagnation in the UN-backed direct talks.

Reliable sources have told CNA that the separate meetings with President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglou are scheduled for this week as on the 17th of March the UN Special Adviser is traveling to New York for consultations with the UNSG Ban Ki-Moon. Downer is expected to be received by President Anastasiades on Tuesday.

Downer plans to stay in New York until the 21st of March and is going to brief Ban on his meetings with the community leaders and the prospects of resuming negotiations for the reunification of the island.

According to the same sources fully fledged negotiations are not expected to start before next September and thus the UN Secretariat is looking into introducing specific confidence building measures.

Downer wished for the Security Council to convene in order to be briefed on the situation, however Russia does not seem to support his request and has already replied that a meeting is not required since there is no progress in the Cyprus issue since last June.

During his stay in New York, Downer is going to hold meetings with the UN Permanent Representatives of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey and possibly some members of the UNSC.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of direct talks began in 2008 with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

The negotiations, which produced little progress, came to a halt last June when the Turkish Cypriot side withdrew from the negotiating table, before Cyprus resumed the Presidency of the Council of the EU July 1st

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