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UN may produce new peace plan, says Foreign Minister
2003-01-27 14:22:56

Limassol, Jan 26 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has not ruled out the possibility that the UN may put forward a second revised peace plan, as they are trying to find a negotiated settlement by the end of February.

The minister said that the international community is expected to increase its pressure, mainly on the Turkish Cypriot side, and noted that if this year does not lead to a solution, it will lead to division.

''We do not have any information on a new revised plan but if the outcome of the discussions lead the UN to a second revision of the Annan plan, then it is possible that a new plan may be submitted,'' Kasoulides said.|

Replying to questions, he said the international community is not going to let this historic opportunity go by without intensive efforts to find a settlement.

''We should all understand the importance of the times we are living in. If we ignore this, we will be making a big mistake,'' he added.

The minister pointed out that 2003 is a year that should lead to a solution.

''If this year does not lead us to a settlement, it will lead us to division,'' he added.

Kasoulides said he expects the UN to intensify their pressure, mainly on the Turkish Cypriot side.

UN Secretary General's special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, who conducts the UN-led peace talks between the two sides, met twice in as many days with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Dentkash in the past couple of days.

The two meetings were in addition to the scheduled meetings (three times a week) he has with Denktash and President Glafcos Clerides in the framework of the direct talks. Saturday's Denktash-de Soto meeting lasted over two hours, according to the Turkish Cypriot press.

The Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides have accepted the Annan plan as a basis for negotiations but both said they want to amend certain of its provisions.

Alvaro de Soto has said that changes to the plan could be made as long as the overall balance is maintained.

The question of Cyprus was part of discussions Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou had today in Davos, Switzerland with Turkish Premier Abdullah Gul and the leader of the Justice and Development party Tayyip Erdogan.

Athens mayor Dora Bakoyianni raised the Cyprus issue at her meeting with Erdogan in Davos as well.

CNA SK/MM/2003

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