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De Soto: Cyprus solution cannot be provided without agreement on security
2003-02-22 17:02:12

Constantinople, Feb 22 (CNA)- United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's Special Adviser on Cyprus, to Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, said that a consensus on the Cyprus problem cannot be provided without an agreement on security issues.

In a written statement after meeting in Ankara last night Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and Deputy Undersecretary Baki Ilkin in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, following the talks between Greece and Turkey on the issues of security and guarantees in Cyprus, de Soto stressed a solution to the Cyprus problem could not be delayed any further.|

He said he went to Ankara for the security negotiations between Turkey and Greece and that they took up preparations for the visit of Secretary-General Kofi Annan who will visit Ankara on February 23.

The UN official said that "in case of a possible consensus, security issues had a critical importance", adding that "all sides regarding the Cyprus question accepted security issues as the essence of negotiations". ''For this reason, a consensus cannot be provided without security issues,'' he added.

He said that reaching a consensus on the Cyprus issue could not be delayed any more and added that he expected that security negotiations would show results as soon as possible.

De Soto said that he did not know when and where the second part of the negotiations would be held but he hoped that they would be held as soon as possible.

He said that "the timing of Annan's regional visit is not coincidental", noting that the new president of the Republic in Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, "is aware of the urgency of the issue".

"I hope that we can rely on Papadopoulos, Denktash (Turkish Cypriot leader), Greece and Turkey for taking necessary steps in the coming few days, he concluded.''

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

Annan will be in Cyprus from 26-28 February in an effort to secure a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem, based on his revised plan.


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