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Situation in Cyprus

Report | Doc. 11699 | 15 September 2008

Committee
Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy
Rapporteur :
Mr Joachim HÖRSTER, Germany, EPP/CD
Thesaurus

Summary

There is now a new political situation in Cyprus, which has been divided for more than thirty years: President Christofias and Mr Talat, the leaders of the two Cypriot communities, demonstrate a strong commitment towards reaching a settlement.

The resumption of inter-communal talks has already produced encouraging results beneficial for all Cypriots. The political process has now entered into a new stage with the opening of fully-fledged negotiations under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General.

The rapporteur believes that the ongoing negotiations offer the best opportunity in many years to end the division of the island. This opportunity must not be wasted.

In order to maximise the chances of success, the report calls upon the two sides to confirm their readiness to reach compromises by adopting additional confidence - building measures. The political forces and civil society in the two communities are encouraged to provide full support to the process and to refrain from any action that could undermine it.

All external actors involved, including the three guarantor states – Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom – are invited to intensify efforts to support the negotiations and to create trust and confidence between the two Cypriot communities.

Finally, the Council of Europe’s expertise and experience in the areas of its core activities should be fully used, on the one hand, in the negotiation process and, on the other hand, in order to facilitate practical co-operation between the two communities, thus contributing to creating an atmosphere of mutual trust.

A Draft resolution

1 The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its resolutions and recommendations adopted since the outbreak of the conflict in Cyprus in the 1960s, and regrets that Cyprus remains one of the last divided countries in Europe, and the only one in the European Union, with its northern part occupied by Turkey since 1974.
2 It reaffirms its strong commitment to reaching a fair, lasting and comprehensive solution for a peaceful and united Cyprus which would guarantee the legitimate rights of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, in full compliance with the values and principles of the Council of Europe.
3 In this context, the Assembly welcomes the renewed political process between the two Cypriot parties which started in March 2008 and has already produced encouraging results for the benefit of all Cypriots, including the opening of the Ledra Street crossing in Nicosia and agreements on practical co-operation between the two communities in a number of areas. It commends the political will and determination shown by the leaders of the two Cypriot communities, President Christofias and Mr Talat, and fully endorses their efforts.
4 The Assembly further welcomes the resumption of fully-fledged negotiations between the leaders of the two Cypriot communities under the auspices of the Secretary General of the United Nations. It hopes that the appointment of Mr Downer, former Foreign Minister of Australia, as Special Adviser on Cyprus, will contribute to maintain positive dynamics in the talks and make progress towards a comprehensive settlement.
5 The Assembly encourages the United Nations to fully use in the negotiation process the Council of Europe’s expertise in the areas of its core competence. Furthermore, it believes that any future settlement agreement must comply with Council of Europe standards in the fields of human rights (including the case law of the European Court of Human Rights), democracy and the rule of law.
6 The Assembly is aware that, even with a new and more positive climate between the two communities, mistrust between them is still deep. New efforts are needed to reactivate intercommunal contacts, encourage dialogue, promote reconciliation and restore confidence. On-going Council of Europe activities aimed at confidence-building in Cyprus, namely the European Forum Cyprus and the co-operation in history teaching, must be given full political support.
7 Furthermore, the Assembly believes that the Council of Europe expertise could be of practical value for the two Cypriot communities in the areas where they have already agreed to set up co-operation, such as the environment, cultural heritage, health and criminal matters, as well as in other areas (e.g. protection of human rights, combating intolerance, protection of minorities, the fight against trafficking in human beings, education, gender equality, contacts between young people).
8 The Assembly stresses once again the importance of settling the humanitarian aspects of the Cyprus problem. Against this background, it commends the recent progress in the work of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), and calls all the parties concerned to grant full support to its activities. In this context, the Assembly welcomes financial contributions to the CMP made by several Council of Europe member states, as well as by the European Union and the United States, and calls for new donations for an increased efficiency of its work.
9 The Assembly takes note of, and welcomes, the efforts made by the European Union and by the Republic of Cyprus aimed at improving the situation of Turkish Cypriots. However, more needs to be done in order to facilitate Turkish Cypriots’ integration into Cyprus and Europe. The Assembly therefore calls for new goodwill steps to be taken to allow increased international trade, educational, cultural and sporting contacts of the Turkish Cypriot community, it being understood that these activities must not be misused to attain political purposes incompatible with the aim of reunifying the island.
10 The Assembly is hopeful that, despite deep-rooted differences between the parties on a number of key issues to be negotiated, the need to find difficult compromises and to secure their public support, the current situation offers the best opportunity in many years to reach a settlement. President Christofias and Mr Talat are conscious that they cannot afford to fail. All the internal and external actors involved must do their utmost to maximise the chances of success.
11 The Assembly therefore:
11.1 calls upon political forces, civil society and non - governmental organisations in both Cypriot communities to:
11.1.1 provide full support to the ongoing settlement process, and refrain from any action which could undermine it;
11.1.2 multiply and facilitate bi-communal activities as a means of re-establishing mutual trust and developing a sense of partnership and shared responsibility for the future of a reunified Cyprus;
11.1.3 fully use for that purpose the opportunities offered by Council of Europe activities in various fields;
11.2 calls upon the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus to:
11.2.1 lift objections to the implementation of the European Commission’s Direct Trade Regulation allowing free direct trade between Turkish Cypriots and the EU through their own ports;
11.2.2 not to oppose increased international contacts of Turkish Cypriots in the areas of culture, education, sport and youth exchanges, insofar as these contacts are not misused for political purposes or incompatible with the reunification of the island;
11.2.3 make full use of Council of Europe experience and assistance as regards history teaching for reconciliation, and to review history textbooks in such a way as to avoid hate speech and inflammatory language with regard to painful events of the past;
11.2.4 actively seek the establishment of good-neighbourly relations with Turkey;
11.3 calls upon the authorities of the Turkish Cypriot community to:
11.3.1 confirm their commitment to reunifying Cyprus, and to refrain from insisting on the existence of a “separate state” in the north of the island;
11.3.2 put on hold the sales of, and construction on, Greek Cypriot properties in the northern part of Cyprus;
11.3.3 further improve the access to the secondary education for Greek Cypriot children in the northern part of Cyprus.
12 The Assembly urges Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom, as the three guarantor states of the 1960 Constitution of Cyprus, to fully and actively use their influence to support the ongoing political process in Cyprus.
13 In particular, the Assembly calls upon Greece to use, on the one hand, its traditional ties with the Greek Cypriots, and on the other hand, its experience of building normalised relations with Turkey, in order to facilitate dialogue between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey.
14 Furthermore, the Assembly calls upon Turkey to:
14.1 contribute to creating a more constructive climate in the negotiations by reducing, as a confidence-building measure, its military presence in the occupied part of Cyprus;
14.2 actively seek the establishment of good-neighbourly relations with the Republic of Cyprus, including lifting the ban against entering ports in Turkey imposed on vessels registered in the Republic of Cyprus and on vessels sailing under other flags which enter the ports of the Republic of Cyprus, and to sign a trade agreement with the Republic of Cyprus in accordance with the commitment made by Turkey to the World Trade Organization and its obligations under its Customs Union Agreement with the European Union;
14.3 co-operate effectively in the efforts to ascertain the fate of the missing persons in Cyprus and to fully implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Cyprus v. Turkey (2001) pertaining to the tragic problem of the missing persons and their families and abide by and fulfil, without any further delay, its obligations and duties stemming from the aforementioned judgment.
15 The Assembly calls upon the United Kingdom to confirm its previous offer to transfer part of the territory of its military bases in Cyprus to Greek Cypriots in order to facilitate territorial adjustments to be negotiated between the two parties in the framework of a comprehensive settlement.
16 The Assembly asks its committees, when holding meetings in Cyprus, to associate as much as possible representatives of the Turkish Cypriot political forces, as well as representatives of civil society and NGOs from both communities.

B Explanatory memorandum, by Mr Hörster

1 Introduction

1 Cyprus is one of the last countries in Europe, and the only one in the European Union, that remains divided. Ever since the outbreak of the conflict between the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots in the early 1960s, the Assembly, along with other international actors, has actively sought to facilitate conditions that would contribute to finding a solution and has adopted a number of reports on various aspects of the problem.
2 Therefore, rather than attempting to rewrite the history of the Cyprus conflict, I will focus on the latest developments and prospects for a future solution. As regards the past, I refer to previously adopted Assembly resolutions and recommendations, as well as to my previous memoranda on the issue (June 2007 and April 2008).
3 The present report follows my fact-finding visit to Cyprus, which took place from 15 to 19 June 2008. I express my sincere thanks to the delegation of Cyprus to the Assembly and to representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community for their help and co-operation both before and during the visit.
4 It is to be stressed from the outset that the current situation, and especially the atmosphere which prevails in Cyprus today, radically differ from those that were in place after the failure, in April 2004, of the previous major international attempt to solve the problem, known as “the Annan Plan”. The dialogue between the two communities, which was in a stalemate since 2004, has now restarted and gained momentum. In spite of substantial and deep-rooted differences between the two sides on a number of key parameters of the settlement, there seems to be political will on both sides to achieve the reunification of the divided island. The process brings hope to Cypriots, but remains fragile and needs to be encouraged and supported by the international community.
5 The purpose of this report is:
  • to reaffirm basic principles to be followed in the Assembly’s involvement in the settlement of the Cyprus issue;
  • to take stock of the latest developments in and around Cyprus;
  • to look at what the Assembly, and the Council of Europe as a whole, can offer to facilitate a just and viable solution for Cyprus.

2 Basic principles for the Assembly’s involvement

6 I believe that our efforts should be based on some key principles:
  • ownership of the process: though the international community may facilitate the settlement, the prime responsibility for finding mutually acceptable solutions on core issues (for example, territory, property issues, security guarantees, etc.) lies with the Cypriots themselves. The Assembly should abstain from being involved in these issues;
  • positive approach: the Assembly must remain evenhanded and seek to play a positive role in bringing the parties closer together;
  • looking forward, not backwards: instead of digging into history in search of justice, the Assembly should look into the future and concentrate its efforts on finding common ground that would contribute towards a lasting solution, and on mutually acceptable practical steps that would create the proper conditions for attaining it;
  • coherence of international involvement: the United Nations is, and must remain, the main framework for all international efforts to facilitate a solution; the Assembly, along with other international actors (for example, the European Union), should contribute to, and support, the UN action, but not attempt to replace it.

3 Latest developments in Cyprus (March-August 2008)

7 Since the failure of the Annan Plan (April 2004), the negotiation process remained in deadlock until February 2008.
8 The new President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Christofias, elected in February 2008, declared the settlement of the Cyprus problem as his priority and called for contacts with the Turkish Cypriot community to be resumed immediately. Mr Talat, the Turkish Cypriot leader, congratulated Mr Christofias on his election and expressed his readiness for a new start in the inter-communal dialogue.
9 The two leaders held their first meeting on 21 March 2008 under the auspices of the UN, and agreed in principle to start fully-fledged negotiations within three months, provided that the conditions were ripe for the new talks.Note They also agreed to implement an earlier decision to set up a number of working groups, to deal with the core issues of the future settlement, and technical committees to solve practical problems resulting from the division of the island. Additionally, Mr Christofias and Mr Talat agreed to meet as and when needed ahead of the start of their formal negotiations.
10 Six working groups and seven technical committees were established on 26 March and started work on 22 April, with United Nations’ facilitation. These bodies are as follows:
  • working groups:
  • governance and power-sharing;
  • EU matters;
  • security and guarantees;
  • territory;
  • property;
  • economic matters.
  • technical committees:
  • crime/criminal matters;
  • economic and commercial matters;
  • cultural heritage;
  • crisis management;
  • humanitarian matters;
  • health;
  • environment.
11 Another symbolic result of the first meeting of Mr Christofias and Mr Talat was the agreement to open a pedestrian crossing point at Ledra Street in the main commercial district of Nicosia. The Ledra crossing was opened on 3 April 2008.
12 On 23 May, Mr Christofias and Mr Talat held their second official meeting, and issued a joint statementNote presenting a common vision for the future of the reunified Cyprus: a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, which will have a federal government with a single international personality, as well as a Turkish Cypriot constituent state and a Greek Cypriot constituent state of equal status.
13 The two sides have expressed different approaches to the timing of the process: while the Turkish Cypriots insist on the opening of formal talks as soon as possible, the Greek Cypriots underline the need to prepare the ground in the working groups. Both sides want to minimise the risk of failure.
14 The two leaders met once again on 1 July 2008 and made a first review of the work of the working groups and technical committees. They also discussed the issues of single sovereignty and citizenship which they agreed in principle. Details of their implementation will be discussed during the fully-fledged negotiations.Note
15 The results achieved so far in the working groups and technical committees are uneven. In the working groups, the major stumbling blocks are issues related to security (including the role of guarantor powers), territory and property, while some progress has been achieved on other matters. Deep-rooted differences between the two sides on these key elements of the future settlement will require inevitable compromise solutions at the political level.
16 The work of the technical committees has been more successful. On 20 June, representatives of the two leaders announced a series of measures aimed at easing the daily life of Cypriots across the island, which include educational programmes in connection with cultural heritage; steps on road safety; easing the movement of ambulances between the two sides; the establishment of a Cyprus joint committee on health; co-operation for island-wide assessment of all major waste streams; and agreement on environmental education.
17 On 25 July, Mr Christofias and Mr Talat met once again and announced that they would start fully-fledged negotiations under United Nations auspices on 3 September 2008, with the aim of finding a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem, which will safeguard the fundamental and legitimate rights and interests of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.Note The agreed solution arising from the talks would be put to separate, simultaneous referenda. The two leaders also assessed the results of the work conducted in working groups and technical committees, and approved an additional set of 16 measures in the areas of the environment, cultural heritage, crisis management and crime and criminal matters.
18 It must be emphasised that a genuine will to achieving the reunification of Cyprus may also be felt among representatives of NGOs and civil society on both sides of the dividing line. Moreover, many NGOs work on a bicommunal level; contacts are also maintained between the political parties from the two sides.
19 In conclusion, the latest developments in Cyprus inspire reasonable optimism. For the first time in recent years, and despite fundamental disagreements between the sides on a number of key issues, conditions seem to be better than ever before for achieving substantial progress in the settlement process of the Cyprus problem.
20 The current momentum in the peace process is based on the strong political will and personal commitment demonstrated by the two leaders, President Christofias and Mr Talat. However, it remains fragile and the leaders have to face the difficult heritage of mistrust and deal with internal opposition on their own sides. At times, some statements made, and steps taken by the sides, as well as varying interpretations of agreements reached between the two leaders, revive mutual suspicions about the real intentions of the opposite side and thus damage confidence.
21 Moreover, while President Christofias seems to enjoy the overwhelming support of Greek Cypriots, Mr Talat could soon face a considerable drop in his support, unless significant results are achieved in terms of restoring the confidence of the Turkish Cypriot community in the process that has so far failed to substantially improve their situation.
22 Nonetheless, both leaders understand the importance of keeping the process ongoing and remain committed to reuniting the island. Their political will and courage must be welcomed and given full support.
23 The United Nations responded promptly to the new atmosphere in Cyprus by stepping up its involvement in accompanying the process between the two sides. Mr Lynn Pascoe, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, visited Cyprus twice (in late March and in June) in order to set up practical arrangements for the UN’s support.
24 Mr Pascoe also visited Greece and Turkey in April. Both parties confirmed their commitment to reaching a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General and their willingness to support and engage fully and in good faith to achieve that goal.
25 On 17 April 2008, the President of the UN Security Council issued a statement welcoming the 21 March agreement and expressing the hope that the preparatory process would “build trust, momentum and a sense of common interest in the search for a just and lasting solution”.
26 On 13 June 2008, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1818 (2008) on the situation in Cyprus, in which it welcomed the progress made by the two sides and urged the parties “to build on the present momentum and continue their efforts to identify to the greatest possible extent areas of convergence and disagreement, while preparing options where feasible on the more sensitive elements, and to work to ensure that fully fledged negotiations can begin expeditiously and smoothly, in line with the agreement of 21 March and the joint statement of 23 May”.
27 The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, announced, in his report to the UN Security Council on 2 June 2008, his intention to appoint a special adviser in order to help the parties move forward in their formal negotiations.
28 On 14 July 2008, the UN Secretary-General appointed Mr Alexander Downer, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, as his Special Adviser on Cyprus. During their meeting on 25 July, Mr Christofias and Mr Talat welcomed the appointment of Mr Downer and said they looked forward to working with him and the UN team in the coming period. On 29 July, Mr Downer visited Nicosia and separately met Mr Christofias and Mr Talat.

4 What role for the Assembly and the Council of Europe?

29 As I mentioned earlier, I do not consider it appropriate for the Assembly to be involved in issues which belong to the core of the settlement, and are currently under consideration in the working groups. These issues require bold political decisions and therefore must be negotiated between the two parties concerned.
30 At the same time, at a further stage of the process, when the United Nations deploys its good offices’ mission, it would be suitable – and even necessary – to offer the Council of Europe expertise in support of the process in its areas of excellence (for example, on constitutional arrangements). Moreover, any future settlement agreement must comply with Council of Europe standards in the fields of human rights (including the case law of the European Court of Human Rights), democracy and the rule of law.
31 As in almost every conflict, mutual mistrust between the parties involved is one of the main obstacles to finding a solution, for which rebuilding confidence is a key component. The same is to be said for Cyprus.
32 A United Nations-led survey carried out in 2007 showed that 87% of Greek Cypriots and 90% of Turkish Cypriots had no contact, either professional or personal, with people living in the other community. In the same survey, 83% of Greek Cypriots and 65% of Turkish Cypriots agreed that inter-communal contact is essential for paving the way for a united Cyprus tomorrow.
33 The lack of interfaith contacts is another issue that may cause concern. As a recent study by the European University of Cyprus shows, two out of three Greek Cypriots have never had a close friendship with a person of a different religion.
34 It is in this particular area, I believe, that the Assembly, and the Council of Europe as a whole, should focus their efforts: to help re-establish contacts, multiply channels of dialogue and build trust and confidence between the two communities.
35 The participation of representatives of the Turkish Cypriot political forces in the work of the Assembly, based on Resolution 1376 (2004), already contributes to this goal. It provides a framework for developing a dialogue between politicians from the two communities of Cyprus. Such a dialogue offers the possibility to spell out mutual concerns and dispel misunderstandings, thus creating better conditions for substantive discussions on practical aspects of the settlement.
36 Both parties should be encouraged to make full use of the opportunities offered by their work in the Assembly, not to limit it to discussions on political aspects of the Cyprus problem, but to encompass issues related to everyday life of their communities.
37 The recent visit by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights to Cyprus offered an opportunity to address the issue of human rights on the island as a whole, across the dividing line. NGOs in the Turkish Cypriot community complain of the lack of attention to their work from European institutions, referring, inter alia, to the recent visit to Cyprus by the CPT (“Human rights in Cyprus stop at the Green Line”). It needs to be stressed in this context that the Turkish Cypriots, who are citizens of Cyprus, a Council of Europe member state, continue to bear the consequences of many years of international isolation. There is a growing concern that this situation might affect their European choice.
38 Ongoing Council of Europe projects aiming at confidence-building in Cyprus must be given full political support. Two of them should be particularly highlighted.
39 The European Forum Cyprus is a new project funded both by the European Commission (under the financial aid instrument for the Turkish Cypriot community) and the Council of Europe. Its objective is to facilitate a continuing sustainable dialogue among about 20 young leaders (politicians, NGO leaders, journalists, etc.) between the ages of 28 and 40 from the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities primarily about challenges of importance for the entire island and not only about the Cyprus issue. The main aim for the coming years is to strengthen a pan-Cypriot conscience among the younger generations of leaders.
40 Bilateral co-operation in history teaching between the Council of Europe and Cyprus started in 2003. During the period 2004-06 it brought together history educators from all Cypriot communities and provided a basis for common work on the use of new methods in teaching history, such as multiperspectivity, in accordance with Recommendation Rec(2001)15 on history teaching in twentyfirst century Europe. It aimed primarily at strengthening reconciliation trends and thus stability in Cyprus. Building on this experience, the Council of Europe started in 2007 to prepare a joint programme with the European Commission to “Support new trends in history teaching for reconciliation and stability in Cyprus”, which should be mainly financed by the EU reconciliation measures package.
41 Moreover, a joint Council of Europe/EU project on protecting cultural heritage in Cyprus is now under consideration. The issue is of high importance for promoting intercultural and inter-religious dialogue between the two communities.
42 Furthermore, the Council of Europe’s experience in a number of areas such as human rights, the fight against intolerance, protection of minorities, law enforcement matters, including the fight against trafficking in human beings, education, gender equality and contacts between young people, could be made available and contribute to solving the practical problems of the two Cypriot communities. Among the areas where the Council of Europe contribution might be helpful for co-operation between the two sides, the following could be considered.
43 Humanitarian issues remain highly emotional on both sides. The Committee on Missing Persons has recently achieved some progress as regards exhumation, identification and return of remains of missing persons. This work must be continued and supported. At the same time, NGOs representing relatives of missing persons believe that the mandate of CMP should be extended to include investigation of circumstances of deaths. According to these NGOs, an important number of missing persons are believed to have been transferred to Turkey. Whether or not these assumptions are true, full co-operation of the Turkish authorities, in particular the army, is essential to establish the fates of the missing persons.
44 Education is an essential human right. Children and young people from the northern part of Cyprus should not be victims of the division of their country. While the inclusion of Turkish Cypriot universities in the Bologna Process seems to be impossible under the current terms (intergovernmental co-operation), other forms of cooperation and exchanges of students and teachers could be found while avoiding contentious political issues.
45 Contacts between young people. New generations of Cypriots from both communities have never lived in a united Cyprus and are used to living in a divided one, thus their interest in solving the Cyprus issue is weak. It is necessary to develop attractive forms of bi-communal events (sports, culture, social events) where young people could meet and establish continued relationships.
46 Support of bi-communal civil society projects. A number of NGOs have developed activities involving representatives of the two communities. Such initiatives need to be encouraged and supported through networking with other civil society organisations at the European level.
47 Developing contacts and co-operation at local level. Such co-operation has existed between the two parts of the divided capital city of Nicosia through the years, even when political contacts between the two communities were at their lowest point. Now the two sides are working together and have joint projects in the framework of the Master Plan Nicosia, which ensures a co-ordinated development of the two parts of the city (including a new sewage processing plant and rehabilitation of buildings in the Buffer Zone for bi-communal use). Establishing some form of partnership between Greek and Turkish Cypriot towns and villages (with possible patronage by other European cities) could be a means of building working relations between communities at the local level.
48 Law enforcement. The lack of contact, let alone cooperation, between law enforcement agencies from both sides creates situations where law offenders from one side find a safe haven on the other side. For their part, organised criminals from the two parts of the island benefit from this situation for all sorts of traffic (for example, drugs and human beings). Ad hoc arrangements must be found (possibly under the umbrella of an international body) to make such co-operation possible regardless of the issue of recognising the status of co-operating parties.
49 Illegal migration. Co-operation between the two sides is required in order to control migration and prevent illegal migrants from entering EU territory through the Green Line.
50 Water management. Both sides of the island are facing the common problem of an increasing shortage of water resources. However, for the moment, both are studying separate solutions. A common approach to this problem could be more efficient and would pave the way for closer co-operation in other areas of common concern.

5 Conclusions

51 There is now a new political situation in Cyprus, where the leaders of the two Cypriot communities, President Christofias and Mr Talat, demonstrate a strong commitment towards reaching a settlement. It offers the best opportunity in many years to end the division of the island. This opportunity must not be wasted.
52 The ongoing political process in Cyprus has already produced some encouraging practical results that are beneficial for all Cypriots. With the opening of fully-fledged negotiations between the two communities under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, the process has now entered into a new stage, where difficult compromises will have to be found on fundamental aspects of the settlement.
53 In order to maximise the chances of success, the two sides must confirm their readiness to reach compromises by adopting additional confidence-building measures. The political forces and civil society on the two sides should be encouraged to provide full support to the process and to refrain from any action which could undermine it.
54 All external actors involved, including the three guarantor states (Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom), must intensify efforts to support the negotiations and to create trust and confidence between the two Cypriot communities.
55 The Council of Europe’s expertise and experience in the areas of its core activities should be fully used, on the one hand, in the negotiation process and, on the other hand, in order to facilitate practical co-operation between the two communities, thus contributing to creating the atmosphere of mutual trust.

Appendix 1 – Statement of the two leaders read by Michael Møller, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Chief of Mission of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus following the meeting on 21 March 2008

I am very pleased to announce the following on behalf of the two leaders.

The leaders met today in a very positive and cordial atmosphere and exchanged views on a number of issues, achieving a great degree of convergence. They have decided to ask their respective advisers to meet this coming week in order to set up a number of working groups and technical committees, and establish their agendas, and to do so in the most expeditious way possible.

In taking full responsibility for the conduct of future negotiations, the leaders have also agreed to meet three months from now to review the work of the working groups and technical committees, and using their results, to start fully-fledged negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

The leaders have also agreed to meet as and when needed prior to the commencement of their formal negotiations.

The leaders have also agreed that Ledra Street will, as soon as technically possible, open and function in accordance with the established practices at other crossings.

The issue of the opening of the Limnitis crossing and other crossings is also on the agenda for the coming meetings of their advisers.

Appendix 2 – Joint statement made by Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on 23 May 2008

The leaders today had genuine and fruitful discussions, and reviewed the results achieved pursuant to the 21 March agreement.

They reaffirmed their commitment to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions. This partnership will have a federal government with a single international personality, as well as a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, which will be of equal status.

They instructed their representatives to examine, within 15 days, the results of the technical committees.

The representatives will consider civilian and military confidence-building measures. They will also pursue the opening of Limnitis/Yesilirmak and other crossing points.

The leaders decided to come together again in the second half of June to make a new assessment.

Appendix 3 – Joint statement by Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on 1 July 2008

The two leaders met today in a positive and co-operative atmosphere.

They undertook a first review of the work of the working groups and technical committees.

They discussed the issues of single sovereignty and citizenship, which they agreed in principle. They agreed to discuss the details of their implementation during the fully-fledged negotiations.

They agreed to meet on 25 July when they will undertake the final review of the working groups and technical committees.

This statement was read following the meeting by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Chief of Mission Tayé-Brook Zerihoun.

Appendix 4 – Joint statement by Cypriot leaders on start of fully-fledged talks. Release Date: 25 July 2008

Today the leaders undertook the final review of the work of the working groups and technical committees. They noted the results achieved and commended their members for all their efforts.

Having made their final review, the leaders decided to start their fully-fledged negotiations on 3 September 2008, under the good offices’ mission of the United Nations Secretary-General.

The aim of the fully-fledged negotiations is to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem, which will safeguard the fundamental and legitimate rights and interests of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The agreed solution will be put to separate simultaneous referenda.

Regarding the technical committees, the leaders today approved sixteen more measures in the areas of environment, cultural heritage, crisis management, crime and criminal matters, and gave instructions for their immediate and full implementation.

As a reflection of their heightened engagement, the leaders have agreed to establish a secure hotline to facilitate direct contact between them.

The leaders welcome the appointment of Mr Alexander Downer as the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Cyprus, and look forward to working with him and the UN team in the coming period.

They also instructed their representatives to take up the issue of Limnitis/Yesilirmak and other crossings.

Reporting committee: Political Affairs Committee. Reference to committee: Resolution 1054 (1995) and Resolution 1267 (2002).

Draft resolution adopted by the committee on 10 September 2008.

Members of the committee: Mr Göran Lindblad (Chairperson), Mr David Wilshire (Vice-Chairperson), Mr Björn Von Sydow (Vice-Chairperson) (alternate: Mrs Kerstin Lundgren), Mrs Kristiina Ojuland (Vice-Chairperson), Mrs Fátima Aburto Baselga (alternate: Mrs Meritxell Batet Lamaña), Mr Francis Agius, Mr Miloš Aligrudić, Mr Claudio Azzolini, Mr Alexander Babakov, Mr Denis Badré, Mr Ryszard Bender, Mr Fabio Berardi, Mr Radu Mircea Berceanu, Mr Andris Bērzinš, Mr Aleksandër Biberaj, Mrs Guðfinna Bjarnadóttir, Mr Giorgi Bokeria, Mr Predrag Bošković, Mr Luc Van den Brande, Mr Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Mr Lorenzo Cesa (alternate: Mr Pietro Marcenaro), Ms Anna Čurdová, Mr Rick Daems, Mr Dumitru Diacov, Ms Josette Durrieu (alternate: Mr Laurent Béteille), Mr Frank Fahey, Mr Joan Albert Farré Santuré, Mr Pietro Fassino, Mr Per-Kristian Foss, Ms Doris Frommelt (alternate: Mrs Renate Wohlwend), Mr Jean-Charles Gardetto, Mr Charles Goerens, Mr Andreas Gross, Mr Davit Harutiunyan, Mr Joachim Hörster, Mrs Sinikka Hurskainen, Mr Tadeusz Iwiński, Mr Bakir Izetbegović, Mr Michael Aastrup Jensen, Mrs Birgen Keleş, Mr Victor Kolesnikov (alternate: Mrs Olha Herasym’yuk), Mr Konstantin Kosachev (alternate: Mr Sergey Markov), Ms Darja Lavtižar-Bebler, Mr René van der Linden, Mr Dariusz Lipiński, Mr Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Mr Younal Loutfi, Mr Mikhail Margelov, Mr Dick Marty, Mr Frano Matušić, Mr Mircea Mereuţă, Mr Dragoljub Mićunović, Mr Jean-Claude Mignon, Ms Nadezhda Mikhailova, Mr Aydin Mirzazada, Mr João Bosco Mota Amaral, Mrs Miroslava Nemcová, Mr Zsolt Németh, Mr Fritz Neugebauer, Mr Hryhoriy Omelchenko, Mr Theodoros Pangalos, Mr Aristotelis Pavlidis, Mr Ivan Popescu, Mr Christos Pourgourides, Mr John Prescott, Mr Gabino Puche, Mr Andrea Rigoni, Mr Oliver Sambevski, Mr Ingo Schmitt (alternate: Mr Eduard Lintner), Mr Samad Seyidov, Mr Leonid Slutsky (alternate: Mr Ilyas Umakhanov), Mr Rainder Steenblock, Mr Zoltán Szabó, Mr Mehmet Tekelioğlu, Mr Han Ten Broeke, Lord Tomlinson, Mr Mihai Tudose, Mr José Vera Jardim, Ms Biruté Vėsaitė, Mr Wolfgang Wodarg, Ms Gisela Wurm, Mr Boris Zala.

Ex officio: MM. Mátyás Eörsi, Tiny Kox.

NB: The names of those members present at the meeting are printed in bold.

See 32nd Sitting, 1 October 2008 (adoption of the draft resolution, as amended); and Resolution 1628.

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