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Government believes UN are considering alternative ways forward
2003-01-31 14:19:44

Nicosia, Jan 31 (CNA) -- The UN are trying to find ways to achieve a solution to the Cyprus problem by the end of this month, and are even considering alternative ways forward, Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said here Friday.

At the same time, the Greek Cypriot side believes that a solution to the Cyprus problem is not possible by the end of the month, despite its readiness to contribute to this, Cyprus Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said.|

Papapetrou told reporters "our view is that a solution is unlikely until February 28, despite our readiness, because of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's stance".

Commenting on statements made by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis about the possibility of the submission of a new solution plan by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Papapetrou said that Simitis believes there is a mobility in which developments should be anticipated, but also gave a kind of warning to the Greek Cypriot side.

"Mr. Simitis had said that if we are asking to change many things (in the plan), virtually changing the substance and philosophy of the Annan plan, it is possible a new plan or an amendment might be against us", Papapetrou explained.

Referring to Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou's contacts in Turkey, the Spokesman described them as "very important", hoping that these will make evident Ankara's stance for a solution.

On his part, Foreign Minister Kasoulides said it is "not a matter for the Greek Cypriot side to say whether it supports or not a third version of the Annan plan for the simple reason that the UN will decide what to do" eventually.

He said the UN are trying to find ways to achieve a result, according to their timeframe", adding that the UN "surely can see that at the moment, from the way the discussions are going, they cannot achieve a result, therefore they are examining alternative ways to achieve a result. It is their business, however, how they will go about this".

He said diplomatic reports indicate that the diplomatic efforts will intensify, with an aim to maintain the timeframe of 28 February.

Invited to comment on Simitis' statement regarding the possibility of the submission of a third Annan plan, Kasoulides said that "every plan, surely, obliges our part to act in a preventive manner, and always bear in mind that it might contain issues which if we cannot accept, then we will not accept them".

Regarding Denktash's stance, Kasoulides expressed the view that the Turkish Cypriot leader "will not be the person who will agree to a Cyprus solution because he is trapped in the past".

He said that only if the new Turkish government manages to impose itself on the Turkish establishment, then either Denktash would be unable to resist Ankara's call and proceed to a solution or resign and let someone else take over.

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

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