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Alexander Downer Named Special Adviser On Cyprus

Former Australian official named as Ban's new Special Adviser on Cyprus

11 July 2008 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced his intention to appoint former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer as his new Special Adviser on Cyprus.

In a letter sent to the Security Council last night, Mr. Ban noted that in resolution 1818 from earlier this year, the 15-member body had welcomed his intention to appoint an envoy for the Mediterranean island at an appropriate time. "We will await the Security Council's response to his letter," UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters.

It has also been confirmed that the Secretary-General will meet with Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias in Paris on Sunday, while he will hold talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in Berlin next Tuesday.

Last week, the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities agreed in principle on the issues of single sovereignty and citizenship as part of United Nations-backed discussions on the possible reunification of Cyprus.

Mr. Christofias and Mr. Talat met in Nicosia "in a positive and cooperate atmosphere" and began a first review of the working groups and technical committees, according to a joint statement, which also noted that they have agreed to meet again on 25 July, when they will undertake the final review of the working groups and technical committees.

ENDS

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