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first_imgThe distance between President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu over the property issue appeared to remain last week following their last meeting before the summer break.They will meet again for talks on August 31, the same day that Christofias has invited Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu and his wife for dinner at his holiday residence in Kellaki, along with the UN team.While UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer told reporters that the two had a “long” and “good” discussion on property, Christofias was less upbeat, hinting that the two had yet to make any convergence on the key issues.Downer also denied reports that he was packing his bags, saying he had no plans to stop the continuation of his six monthly contract at this stage.Speaking after the meeting, Christofias said the two leaders would meet again in three weeks time to see if they could achieve “mini convergences” on the property issue. “From there on, overall proposals will be submitted by the two sides,” he added.The negotiations were not easy, he said. “It’s easier to be outside (the talks) and throwing stones,” he added.Asked to comment on Eroglu’s statements that if the Cyprus problem is not solved by the end of the year then each side would follow their own path, Christofias said such statements were commented on during his meetings with Eroglu.“All these things are part of the political game. You realise that such threats do not defeat us. Turkey does the same thing, as regards a plan B, etc,” he said.The president said he would stick to his “constructive” position on combining the property issue with that of territory and settlers.“I will insist on this connection. Because if we are able to have such an arrangement, that will allow over 100,000 Greek Cypriot refugees to return under Greek Cypriot administration, on the basis of the 1974 status, then the property issues will become less complex and easier to solve,” he added.If the Turkish Cypriot side insists on its positions and retracts from the relevant Annan plan provisions, “then things will be very difficult,” he added.Asked if he has received any reply from his 26 EU counterparts to a letter sent explaining his positions on the talks, the opening of Famagusta port and an international conference, Christofias said he received many replies, a large number of which were positive and welcomed his proposal. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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