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Clerides informed about Annan's letter to Simitis
2003-02-07 09:32:05

Nicosia, Feb 7 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides has been briefed about a letter UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has sent to Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis in connection with the issue of security, as part of a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.

A similar letter was also sent by Annan to Turkish premier Abdullah Gul.|

Replying to questions, President Clerides said ''yes, I have been informed about the letter Annan has sent to Simitis with regard to security concerns.''

Asked if the Greek government has been invited to New York to discuss this issue, the President replied ''no, the Secretary General has invited Greece and Turkey to begin consultations on future security''.

President Clerides was speaking to the press on his way to a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in the context of UN-led peace talks, conducted by Annan's special adviser Alvaro de Soto.

De Soto leaves later today for Ankara for consultations with the Turkish government, accompanied by members of his team. He intends to return in time for Monday's meeting with the two leaders before flying off to New York to brief the Secretary General on the state of affairs in the negotiations.

Annan's spokesman Fred Eckhard said Thursday in New York that in his letters to Simitis and Gul the Secretary General emphasised the urgency of their pressing ahead without delay to finalise the security aspects of his revised December 10 proposal.

The proposal provides for Greek and Turkish contingents, each not exceeding between 2,500 and 7,500 prior to the signature of the comprehensive settlement, all ranks to be stationed in the Greek Cypriot component state and the Turkish Cypriot component state respectively.

Greek attempts so far to talk to Ankara about this issue have stumbled against the refusal of the Turkish military.

CNA MM/GP/2003

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