Downer says no pressure for Cyprus deal

NICOSIA, Cyprus

Leaders of the two communities on the divided island have made significant progress in reunification talks but no pressure should be exerted to strike an agreement, UN special envoy for Cyprus Alexander Downer told AP on Wednesday (August 5th). “We haven’t set a timeline,” Downer said.

“If you become a slave to a date, you may find that you don’t have a high quality agreement and then you’ll just have to start all over again sometime in the future,” he added. Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat launched the talks nearly a year ago.

According to recent polls, three fourths of Greek Cypriots believe that talks will eventually fail. Downer said the two leaders should not be worried about the “ebbs and flows of opinion every day” and should continue negotiations.

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