28 March, 2006
The Cyprus issue dominated talks between Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan here on Monday.
Bakoyannis made the following statement after her 30 minutes-long meeting with Annan: "My meeting with the Secretary General focused on the Cyprus issue.
There is a new momentum in the Cyprus problem after (the Paris) meeting between the UN secretary general and (Cyprus President Tassos) Mr. Papadopoulos. A new effort is beginning based on meetings focusing on technical issues. These meetings should lead to a properly prepared new initiative, for the finding of a viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem. It is time for the two sides to agree on this effort and proceed. As I have declared before, we cannot bare a new failure. A well prepared new effort, without new tight timetables, without decisions taken in advance, would be the best possible solution."
The Greek foreign minister said that her talks with Annan also covered the situation in the West Balkans and the Kosovo issue, as well as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's (FYROM) name issue, on which Bakoyannis reiterated the Greek positions.
Earlier in the day, Bakoyannis told reporters referring to her upcoming meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan the Cyprus issue would 'of course' be discussed.
Bakoyannis and Annan would discuss Cyprus "particularly due to the momentum created after the UN Secretary General's meeting with [Cypriot President Tassos] Mr. Papadopoulos in Paris and we hope that a new initiative will be launched regarding the Cyprus issue," she had said.
Asked how Greece will respond if Turkey fails to fulfill its obligations towards the EU, the Greek minister replied that "Turkey, as you know, has commitments which it must fulfill in regards to its European prospects. I hope that it will fulfill its obligations."
On the issue of Thrace and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's recent statements, Bakoyannis said that "Greece is a modern, democratic country, where there is equality and respect for human rights."
The UN Undersecretary General Ibrahim Gambari sent a letter to Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat detailing what happened at the Paris meeting between UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, upon the request of Kofi Annan, UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters here on Monday.
Asked why Gambari sent the letter and not Annan himself, Faq said he could not provide an answer.
The UN Deputy Spokesman declined to comment on whether the Turkish side had responded and also refused to comment on when the technical committees would begin working.
A joint statement issued after the meeting in Paris on February 28, 2006 between UNSG Kofi Annan and Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said that "the leaders of both communities (in Cyprus) have agreed that bicommunal discussions on a series of issues, agreement on which is needed for the benefit of all Cypriots, will be undertaken at the technical level".
Source: Athens News Agency