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Greek Premier says two sides must take definite stance soon
2003-01-24 14:34:59

by Costas Iordanides-- Athens, Jan 24 (CNA) - Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said today he believed the two sides in Cyprus would be called upon ''to take a definite stance'' on a revised UN peace plan to solve the Cyprus problem.

He added that there was nothing concrete regarding developments but nevertheless the Greek side should show the international community that it is seeking a settlement of the island's political problem.|

Speaking after meeting Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik in Athens, Simitis said he told his cabinet yesterday that the UN wanted a solution and that ''in order to achieve a solution by February 28, a point will come when they (the UN) will want to put an end to the negotiations''.

Simitis noted that ''it is quite likely that they will then present their latest thoughts regarding the Annan plan and will tell the two parties involved to take a definite stance''.

''As far as we and the Greek Cypriot side are concerned, in any case we must show the international community that we are seeking a solution, we want a just, viable, workable solution, we are contributing in this direction and we consider the negotiations and the solution of any difference as necessary within the context of the UN'', he said.

The Greek Prime Minister added that ''only if we justify our position well, only if we are convincing, if we show we are trying to overcome the problems, only then will we have the support of the international community, which is always necessary''.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriots sides are currently engaged in UN-led negotiations with a view to reach a comprehensive settlement on the basis of a revised solution plan put to them by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan last month.


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