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Settlement In Cyprus 'Not A Foregone Conclusion'

Settlement In Cyprus 'not A Foregone Conclusion,' Says Un Envoy

19 June 2008 - The United Nations envoy to Cyprus says that much hard work still needs to be done to reach a comprehensive settlement of the long-running dispute that has divided the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities on the Mediterranean island.

"A comprehensive settlement is not a foregone conclusion... compromises are indeed always the basis on which durable agreements are constructed. There will be problems along the way - some of them serious. That is precisely why there is a peace process," Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, the UN's Special Representative said today, addressing a medal ceremony for the UN's Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

After a meeting on 23 May, Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat committed themselves in a statement to working towards "a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions."

The partnership will comprise a Federal Government with a single international personality, along with a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State, which will be of equal status.

After further meetings with UN officials, the two leaders are expected to schedule a further face-to-face meeting.

"It is crucial to keep in sight the ultimate objective: that of bringing about a future of durable peace and prosperity for all the people of Cyprus," Mr. Zerihoun said. "And that is why the leadership, courage and vision that the leaders have demonstrated at the present juncture are so crucial."

UNFICYP has been in place on the island since 1964 after the outbreak of intercommunal violence. It is tasked with preventing a recurrence of fighting, contributing to a return to normal conditions and the maintenance of law and order.


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