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De Soto meets Turkish officials
2003-01-29 14:44:22

De Soto meets Turkish officials Constantinople, Jan 29 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General's special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro De Soto said here today that Justice and Development party leader Recep Tayyip Ergdogan was willing to find a solution to the Cyprus question.

De Soto, who met yesterday Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, said after meeting the latter that an agreement on Cyprus was possible and that the two sides must have the political will and work hard.

He also said that if the sides on the island and Turkey and Greece reach an agreement, a peace plan submitted by Kofi Annan can be amended.|

''Yet we must see if an agreement is reached or not,'' he added.

Speaking to the press, after meeting Erdogan, today, De Soto noted that he had not presented any maps to Erdogan, but they discussed the issue in detail.

Invited to say whether he observed any contradiction between the views of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and Erdogan, De Soto said that Erdogan's views were clear and added that this question should be addressed to Erdogan.

After his meeting with Gul De Soto said that "we took up the urgency of the solution of the Cyprus problem.''

He noted the encouraging impression he got from Gul and said the Turkish Prime Minister stressed the strong commitment of Turkey to a solution.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. President Clerides and Denktash are currently engaged in talks with a view to reach a comprehensive settlement by February 28, 2003, a target date set in a revised solution proposal submitted to them by the Secretary General Kofi Annan last month.


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