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Turkish Cypriot side delivers its written response to UN today

Source: BRT  
18 November 2006

The United Nations Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari has called on the two sides in Cyprus to intensify their efforts towards establishing technical committees.

Mr. Gambari sent letters to President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Tasos Papadopulos with the aim of speeding up the efforts towards achieving progress on the 8th of July agreement reached between the two sides.

The letter includes proposals on the setting up of technical committees, their objectives and their working principles.

The Turkish Cypriot Side delivered to the United Nations at noon today its written response to the letter.

The Presidential Spokesman announced yesterday that the Turkish Cypriot Sideís response to the letter will be positive.

The long awaited letter by the United Nations Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari was received yesterday afternoon by President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot Leader Tassos Papadopulos.

The letter was prepared upon a request from the Turkish Cypriot Side to break the deadlock on the 8th of July process.

The letter includes proposals on the formation of technical committees, the issues to be taken up by them and their working principles as well as on issues the two leaders should concentrate their discussions.

In his letter, Mr Gambari also calls on the two leaders to prepare and present him with a list of issues on which they want the technical committees to be set up on.

He says that the technical committees should be set up after

combining the two lists, and expressed the view that the committees should be able to tackle day-to-day problems being faced on the island as well as issues that could help to build confidence between the two sides.

Mr. Gambari advises to the two leaders in Cyprus to come together, to evaluate the discussions held at the technical level and to give guidance to their work.

He also advises the two leaders to come together under the supervision of the UN Representative in the first quarter of the next year to make it possible for the UN Secretary General to restart his good offices mission in Cyprus.

Commenting on the issue yesterday, the President said that the latest initiative by the United Nations on the Cyprus Problem had reached a new phase.

Mr. Talat said that the letter proposes the path to be followed for the resumption of the negotiations and the steps to be taken.

He said that the letter was prepared taking into consideration the views and concerns of the Turkish Cypriot Side but added that it is too early to say if all its contents were satisfying.

In a separate press conference yesterday, the Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica said that the Presidentís response to the letter was positive as it called for the resumption of the comprehensive negotiations for the Cyprus problem early next year.

He pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot Side also attaches great importance to a just and comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem but said that it has concerns on whether the procedure to be followed will work effectively.

The spokesman said that comprehensive negotiations on the Cyprus issue can be resumed at the start of next year if the Greek Cypriot Side does not exploit the deficiencies of the letter.

Being reminded of an earlier statement from the Greek Cypriot Administrationís spokesman that the Greek Cypriot Sideís response to the letter will be positive, Mr Ercakica said that it was important to see first what the Greek Cypriot Sideís stance will be towards the preparation process before making any comments on its actual response to the letter.

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