The statement was made here Friday by Lisa Buttenheim, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus, following the meeting between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, in the framework of direct talks aiming at a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issue.
Buttenheim said that the two leaders discussed Friday the economy chapter, exchanging ideas and views, with the aim of reaching further
She added that the leaders authorized their experts on the economy to work on remaining outstanding issues and to report back to them upon their return from New York, where both will be next week.
She noted that the next scheduled meeting is on Tuesday, September 27, where the leaders will discuss the chapter on the EU.
Buttenheim was asked to comment on developments concerning the exploration of natural gas and their impact on the talks. She noted that the issue is not directly related to the talks and has not been discussed in the talks.
She added, however, that in case natural resources were discovered, this would benefit all Cypriots, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, under the framework of a federal united Cyprus.
"The United Nations would appeal to all involved to resolve this matter in a peaceful manner and look beyond the issues to the potential benefits that a united Cyprus can bring to Cypriots and to the region", Buttenheim noted.
On another question concerning leaked documents from "wikileaks", on comments by Alexander Downer, a top UN official in Cyprus, to former US Ambassador in Nicosia Frank Urbancic, Buttenheim refrained from commenting, because, as she said, "we don't comment on things like wikileaks".
"To my mind this is irrelevant to the process of what we're doing which is to focus on getting a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus", Buttenheim went on. Following a remark by the press, that the leaked documents are related to the talks, Buttenheim said she had not seen
Houston-based company "Noble Energy" is expected to begin drilling in Cyprus' EEZ late September. The company has a concession to look for
hydrocarbons in an offshore field in Cyprus' EEZ, south of Cyprus, known as Block 12.
Recently senior Turkish government officials have warned that Ankara will not hesitate to deploy warships in the Mediterranean.
Cyprus has signed an agreement to delineate the Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt and Israel with a view to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves in its EEZ. A similar agreement was signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
Peace talks are currently underway to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country, under a federal roof.