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Simitis says Denktash's stance makes solution difficult
2003-01-31 14:00:27

Nicosia, Jan 31 (CNA) -- Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said it would be extremely difficult for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem by the end of February because of Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash's intransigent stance.

Referring to the Cyprus problem during Thursday's cabinet meeting, Simitis said UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, and the UN have a feeling that a deadlock has been created and are considering a change in the procedure.

The Greek Premier said a third Annan plan might hold dangers because of the possibility of proposals being submitted which would not be acceptable by the Greek Cypriot side, in an effort to persuade the Turkish Cypriot side change its stance.|

"We have to be ready to make negotiating efforts", Simitis was quoted by the Athens News Agency as saying, noting the whole thing will clear following a visit of De Soto to Ankara.

Meanwhile, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who is in Turkey, said, "we all wish to see a solution to the Cyprus problem, a problem which has made difficult the Greco-Turkish relations.

Expressing the Greek government's support to the Annan plan, Papandreou said if "the two (Cyprus) leaders could agree on several amendments to the plan, then so much the better".

Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Yasar Yakis agreed to continue exploratory contacts between the two countries.

The Greek FM met with President Ahmed Sezer and Prime Minister Abdullah Gul.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

CNA/EA/EC/GP/2003
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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