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Weston and Hannay meet President-elect
2003-02-24 01:17:59

Nicosia, Feb 23, (CNA)-- US and British envoys on Cyprus Tomas Weston and Lord David Hannay had their first meetings with President-elect Tassos Papadopoulos in view of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's visit on the island on Wednesday.

Speaking on his departure from Larnaca airport, Weston pointed out that ''there is a settlement which is good and just, adding ''we should devote all our efforts to attain it this week''.

Referring to his contacts here, Weston said that he was ''further convinced of the tense wish to take advantage of this very very important week to get, what I believe all will like it to be - a settlement of this long standing issue''.

Commenting on statements made by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash who said that he is not satisfied by the UN, Weston said that ''you can't expect from any settlement total satisfaction for either side.''

''I think it is the nature of this thing, compromises are necessary on both sides, which means that no one will be totally satisfied and I think that's the way it has to be approached,'' he added.

Asked if Turkey requested anything in exchange for the help to the US in a possible attack on Iraq, Weston said that there is no linkage between the two issues, adding that the US ''treat the two issues separately in our discussions with Turkey.''

Asked to comment on his meeting with Papadopoulos, Weston said that he and the newly-elected Cypriot President had a productive and substantive meeting yesterday and he expressed hope Papadopoulos ''was as satisfied with it as I was.''

Weston will be visiting Ankara and Athens and return to Cyprus on Wednesday.

Meanwhile Britain's special representative for Cyprus Lord David Hannay who met with Papadopoulos said that he is visiting Cyprus ''on the instructions of my Prime Minister who has followed the negotiations over the last three years and attaches a lot of importance to them''.

He noted that he would not negotiate with the two sides because the negotiations are carried out ''between the two sides with the help of the good offices of the Secretary General and his representative Alvaro De Soto''.|

''So I should be here for this week with the hope that if necessary i would be helpful but i am not intruding to this process in any way, as a principle,'' he noted.

Hannay noted that ''the President-elect seems to me to have a very very clear grasp of issues of state.''

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


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