24 January 2014 11:55

United Nations Security Council members have expressed disappointment over the lack of progress in the Cyprus peace process and called for agreement on a joint declaration to jump-start stalled talks the soonest.
This is what informed sources said yesterday after the Council was briefed via teleconference by UN special envoy Alexander Downer in view of the resolution next week of UNFICYP’s mandate renewal.
Sources also said Downer was scolded by the Russian representative over his meeting with Turkish foreign minister Ahmed Davutoglu in the ‘presidential palace’ in the occupied north.
And the Chinese representative asked for sovereign rights of the Republic to be respected.
The official statement by the Jordanian President of the Security Council said: "Council members expressed their support for the political process in Cyprus and for reaching an agreement as soon as possible on a joint statement between the two sides which would lead to re-launching meaningful and effective negotiations.”
It added: “Council members expressed broad support for the good offices exercised by the Secretary General in the process and for the mission of Mr. Downer. Moreover, there was broad support for the renewal of UNFICYP`s mandate for an additional six months”.
Downer had briefed the Council members on the mission of good offices via teleconference from London due to the weather conditions. UNFICYP’s political head in Nicosia Lisa Buttenheim also took part in the consultations.
Diplomatic sources in New York said a British draft resolution has been handed over to the permanent "5" and, with the exception of the fourth paragraph in the introduction; it is identical to the previous one.
The same sources also said that Downer was cautious in his briefing to the UN concerning what has happened since the bailout debacle last March.
He particularly referred to the economic developments on the island and the impact on the lives of Cypriots, and the priorities of the Cypriot government and President Anastasiades.
Earlier in the month, an annoyed Downer allegedly postponed his visit to the island because of insulting words against him by Anastasiades who publicly accused the Australian diplomat of “lacking objectivity”.
Downer only met with the appointed negotiators of the two sides - not the two leaders as previously scheduled – during his last visit to the island prior to the Security Council briefing.
Hopes had been high that negotiations aiming to reunite the island would resume by the end of October, but they have stuttered over the wording of a joint statement that would map out the aim of the talks.


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