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UN receives over 1,000 entries for new flag, anthem
2003-02-18 17:17:31

Nicosia, Feb 18 (CNA) -- Well over 1,000 entries have been submitted to the UN for the composition of a new anthem and the design of a new flag for Cyprus, to be in place when there is a political settlement here, UN press spokesman Brian Kelly has said.

Kelly said entries have come from all over the world, as far away as Australia, Canada and Norway, and UN personnel are still cataloguing and registering entries.

''We have received entries from 15 countries, Cyprus, Turkey and Greece included, from schools, individuals and design firms, some of which are multiple entries,'' Kelly told CNA today, a day after the deadline for submissions ended.

One entry is from a child in Cyprus, whose father is a Greek Cypriot and mother is a Turkish Cypriot.

''UN personnel have been cataloguing and registering entries, some people were up until 3.30 this morning. We hope to finish registration within the next 48 hours,'' Kelly said.

This, he explained, will enable the two bicommunal committees that are to be set up, with members nominated by the leaders of the two communities, to examine all the entries and make recommendations to their respective leader.

Kelly did not want to go into details on how many entries have arrived from the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side.

He said more information will probably be released on completion of the count and after consultation with the committees to be established.

The UN asked for bids for Cyprus' new flag and anthem about a month ago in the context of a UN peace plan for a comprehensive settlement that the two sides are negotiating.

The plan provides for a negotiated settlement to be signed by the end of the month. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will visit Turkey, Greece and Cyprus next week in a bid to accelerate the peace process and possibly conclude a deal on his peace proposal.

CNA MM/TT/2003

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