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Friday, February 27, 2009

Property Talks Drag On

(Cyprus Weekly) - President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat are going nowhere fast on the complex property issue.

A large question still hangs over this chapter with an apparent inability by the leaders to bridge a fundamental divide on property.

Christofias himself has admitted there are “serious differences” and this week’s three-hour meeting between the two was still bogged down on the criteria to be agreed on to resolve property matters.

“They have been discussing for the last two weeks or so the criteria to define the parameters under which the discussions should continue,” said UN chief of mission Taye-Brook Zerihoun.

“After that they will make a decision whether those discussions will continue in other fora,” he added.

It is understood that Talat wants a property committee established to thrash out thorny problems.
While the Greek Cypriot side’s core argument is the restitution of property rights to refugees, Talat is said to be steering discussions into one of compensation and land swaps rather than uphold the original owner’s right to their home.

UN special envoy Alexander Downer has gathered his own team of experts to help him grasp the complexities of such negotiations.

Since fresh peace talks were launched last September the leaders have met 20 times – including three on property -- in a process turning out to be a test of endurance.

Negotiations will resume next Thursday and after that the leaders have decided to move on to discuss EU-related matters.

Viewing News dated :26/02/2009 18:41:38

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