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Turkish premier ''knows'' of new UN plan
2003-02-18 17:19:11

Nicosia, Feb 18 (CNA) -- Turkey's Prime Minister Abdullah Gul has said he is aware of the existence of a new UN peace plan for a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.

''We are all trying to solve the problem, there is a good chance for that. Secretary General Annan is coming to Turkey next week. We know that he has another plan, something we hope will be to the satisfaction of both sides,'' Gul told a press conference yesterday in Brussels.

He said he is ''really trying'' for a resolution in Cyprus.|

Gul said he is working hard to reach a satisfactory solution and added ''no solution is not the solution for my government but the solution must be satisfactory for both sides. I am optimistic.''

Kofi Annan is due to visit Ankara, Athens and Nicosia next week in a bid to reach an agreement on a proposal he has presented the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides.

Direct talks between the two sides began more than a year ago and according to Annan's revised plan, the island's two communities have to agree on a settlement by the end of February to allow a reunited Cyprus to sign the Accession Treaty for European Union membership in mid April.

Greece and Turkey are to begin on Friday talks on a bilateral level, between technocrats from both countries, with regard to security concerns, as part of the UN plan.

CNA MM/GP/2003

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