Expiry of the period for exchanging Cyprus pound coins to euro

U.S. DEPUTY Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Bryza left Cyprus yesterday neither too positive nor too negative about the ongoing negotiations.

Bryza who arrived on the island on Tuesday said both sides had further margins for negotiations.

“The assessment of how much room anybody has to negotiate is totally subjective and a person who is doing the negotiating himself or herself has a view that may change from day to day,” Bryza told reporters

“There is room [to negotiate] on both sides. The attitudes are quite different from where they were before September 3 or before last March and there’s defensiveness… there’s caution on both sides.”

Bryza, who was on his way to Ankara for further contacts, said the US could only support the talks as actively insofar as the two sides wished it to.

Both sides have made it clear that they want a solution by Cypriots for Cypriots and are keeping the international community at arms length other than pleas to pressure Turkey.

Government Spokesman Stefanos Stefanou, said yesterday Bryza had been briefed by President Demetris Christofias on the Greek Cypriot side’s views with regard to the talks including the various problems that have emerged.

Christofias said this week little progress had been made in the past four months.

Asked whether Bryza might be leaving Cyprus with some kind of message for Ankara, Stefanou said Cyprus’ position was clear when it came to the role expected of the international community.

“We want the international factor to turn towards Turkey, exercise its influence so that Turkey co-operates for a fair, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem,” he said.

“From there on, there is a negotiating procedure taking place in Cyprus, which is of Cypriot ownership. This was also underlined by Mr Bryza following his visit [on Tuesday] with [Presidential Commissioner George] Mr Iacovou, and this is respected by the US as well as the international factor.”

By Jacqueline Theodoulou, Cyprus Mail, January 15, 2009|||US envoy says both sides have room to give
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