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  International conference is ‘watershed moment’ for Cyprus negotiations – UN envoy

International conference is ‘watershed moment’ for Cyprus negotiations – UN envoy

India Blooms News Service | | 14 Jan 2017, 08:28 am
New York, Jan 14 (Just Earth News): Speaking in Geneva a day after the start of a United Nations-supported Conference on Cyprus, a UN advisor said the open and frank exchanges at the meeting’s opening confirmed two things: “first that there are difficult issues to overcome; and second that there is a will to overcome them.”

“The last days have been a watershed moment for the Cyprus negotiations,” Espen Barth Eide, the UN Special Adviser Cyprus, told reporters on Friday.

Recalling the statements made at the Conference’s opening, Eide said they conveyed a strong message of hope that the long-standing dispute “can now finally be laid to rest and a united federal Cyprus can emerge and can be embraced in a security arrangement that is mutually acceptable for all sides.”

He further informed the journalists that the next event in this Conference is a meeting which will take place next Wednesday (18 January), and will see senior civil servants come together to start working on specific ideas, options, proposals to prepare the ground for a structured final discussion between the principals at the very high political level, which will take place later.

Noting that the meeting will not be negotiations, Eide added that while a date is not set for the principles to come together, “it is going to be soon.”

He went on to say that while “not everything is new under the sun,” the fact that the guarantors – Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom – are in the meeting with the Cypriots, and “the fact that we now are setting up this structured conversation about security itself, is new, it has not happened in this forum. All this, Eide stressed was thanks to the leadership of Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

Thanking all participants at the conference for their support, he called on everyone to reflect and prepare themselves for the upcoming meeting.

“The idea now is that rather than just rehearsing the old scripts and reading from notes that have been around for decades, we will now try to decompose these different elements together, not to negotiate them but to try to look into the different components,” and find ways to address the concerns of all Cypriots, he explained.

“I think that there is a momentum now. Larger political developments remind us that it is probably, or quite surely, very important to use these days as effectively as we can and in as constructive spirit as possible,” concluded Eide.

At the end of yesterday’s discussions, which were opened and chaired by Secretary-General António Guterres, the UN announced that the participants in the Conference had decided to take the following steps:

Establish a working group at the level of deputies. This group will commence its work on 18 January. Its task will be to identify specific questions and the instruments needed to address them;
In parallel, the negotiations on outstanding issues in the other chapters will continue between the two sides in Cyprus; and that
The Conference will continue at political level immediately thereafter to review the outcome of the working group’s discussions.

UN Photo/Violaine Martin

 

Source: www.justearthnews.com


 

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm